Fighting the Ebola Virus – an exercise in risk analysis & decision making

J. Houston, M. Achayyra

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Ebola is a deadly epidemic and has already cost the lives of at least 10,000 people in West Africa. A vaccine has yet to be discovered and the focus remains on containing the spread of the virus. Although its spread has come under control in recent months, the actions of international agencies has been criticized. In this study, we present a choice-problem, associated with the handling of Ebola by Health Policymakers. We combine actual demographic data with realistic cost data for a limited range of interventions intended to slow transmission of the disease, into a quantitative model. The model facilitates trials of many combinations of interventions, in an effort to minimise the further spread of Ebola. The model can be used both as a teaching tool, as well as a prototype decision-making tool for the agencies involved in fighting such outbreaks, with limited budgets.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 26 May 2015
EventInternational Conference on Risk Analysis - Barcelona, Spain
Duration: 26 May 201529 May 2015


ConferenceInternational Conference on Risk Analysis
Abbreviated titleICRA6
Internet address


  • risk
  • Ebola
  • constrained optimisation


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