Potential impact of sexual transmission of Ebola virus on the epidemic in West Africa

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Jessica L AbbateChristian L Althaus


Sexual transmission of Ebola virus disease (EVD) 6 months after onset of symptoms has been recently documented, and Ebola virus RNA has been detected in semen of survivors up to 9 months after onset of symptoms. As countries affected by the 2013-2015 epidemic in West Africa, by far the largest to date, are declared free of Ebola virus disease (EVD), it remains unclear what threat is posed by rare sexual transmission events that could arise from survivors. We devised a novel mathematical model that includes sexual transmission from convalescent survivors: a SEICR (susceptible-exposed-infectious-convalescent-recovered) transmission model. We fitted the model to weekly incidence of EVD cases from the 2014-2015 epidemic in Sierra Leone. Sensitivity analyses and Monte Carlo simulations showed that a 0.1% per sex act transmission probability and a 3-month convalescent period (the two key unknown parameters of sexual transmission) create very few additional cases, but would extend the epidemic by 83 days [95% CI: 68 - 98 days] on average. Strikingly, a 6-month convalescent period extended the average epidemic by 540 days (95% CI: 508 - 572 days), doubling the current length, despite an insignificant rise in the number of new cases gen...Continue Reading

Related Concepts

Seminal Fluid
Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola
Ebola virus
Community Health Centers
Disease Transmission

Related Feeds

BioRxiv & MedRxiv Preprints

BioRxiv and MedRxiv are the preprint servers for biology and health sciences respectively, operated by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Here are the latest preprint articles (which are not peer-reviewed) from BioRxiv and MedRxiv.