In the context of the ongoing Ebola epidemic in Democratic Republic of Congo, active conflict and community distrust are undermining control efforts, including vaccination strategies.
In a paper by co-authored by a Georgia State University School of Public Health team, researchers Dr. Gerardo Chowell and Dr. Amna Tariq employed an individual-level stochastic structured transmission model to assess the impact of vaccination strategies on epidemic control in the context of variable levels of household inaccessibility.
The researchers found that a ring vaccination strategy of close contacts would not be effective for containing the epidemic in the context of significant delays to vaccinating contacts even for low levels of household inaccessibility and evaluate the impact of a supplemental community vaccination strategy. For lower levels of inaccessibility, the probability of epidemic containment increases over time. For higher levels of inaccessibility, even the combined ring and community vaccination strategies are not expected to contain the epidemic even though they help lower incidence levels, which saves lives, makes the epidemic easier to contain and reduces spread to other communities.
The team found that ring vaccination is effective for containing an outbreak until the levels of inaccessibility exceeds approximately 10 percent, a combined ring and community vaccination strategy is effective until the levels of inaccessibility exceeds approximately 50 percent. The researchers argue that the findings underscore the need to enhance community engagement to public health interventions.
Learn more about the report.
Learn more about Dr. Gerardo Chowell.Tags: Friday Letter Submission, Publish on January 17