Previous reports have shown that an Ebola outbreak can be slowed, and eventually stopped, by placing Ebola patients into settings where there is reduced risk for onward Ebola transmission, such as Ebola treatment units (ETUs) and community care centers (CCCs) or equivalent community settings that encourage changes in human behaviors to reduce transmission risk, such as making burials safe and reducing contact with Ebola patients. Using cumulative case count data from Liberia up to August 28, 2014, the EbolaResponse model previously estimated that without any additional interventions or further changes in human behavior, there would have been approximately 23,000 reported Ebola cases by October 31, 2014. In actuality, there were 6,525 reported cases by that date. To estimate the effectiveness of ETUs and CCCs or equivalent community settings in preventing greater Ebola transmission, CDC applied the EbolaResponse model to the period September 23-October 31, 2014, in Liberia. The results showed that admitting Ebola patients to ETUs alone prevented an estimated 2,244 Ebola cases. Having patients receive care in CCCs or equivalent community settings with a reduced risk for Ebola transmission prevented an estimated 4,487 cases. Having patients receive care in either ETUs or CCCs or in equivalent community settings, prevented an estimated 9,100 cases, apparently as the result of a synergistic effect in which the impact of the combined interventions was greater than the sum of the two interventions. Caring for patients in ETUs, CCCs, or in equivalent community settings with reduced risk for transmission can be important components of a successful public health response to an Ebola epidemic.
Washington ML, Meltzer ML, . (2015). Effectiveness of Ebola treatment units and community care centers - Liberia, September 23-October 31, 2014. MMWR. Morbidity and mortality weekly report, 64(3)