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Analysis of individual-level data from 2018-2020 Ebola outbreak in Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Abstract

The 2018-2020 Ebola virus disease epidemic in Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) resulted in 3481 cases (probable and confirmed) and 2299 deaths. In this paper, we use a novel statistical method to analyze the individual-level incidence and hospitalization data on DRC Ebola victims. Our analysis suggests that an increase in the rate of quarantine and isolation that has shortened the infectiousness period by approximately one day during the epidemic's third and final wave was likely responsible for the eventual containment of the outbreak. The analysis further reveals that the total effective population size or the average number of individuals at risk for the disease exposure in three epidemic waves over the period of 24 months was around 16,000-a much smaller number than previously estimated and likely an evidence of at least partial protection of the population at risk through ring vaccination and contact tracing as well as adherence to strict quarantine and isolation policies.

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