Ebola: Mobility data

M.E. Halloran, A. Vespignani, N. Bharti, L.R. Feldstein, K.A. Alexander, M. Ferrari, J. Shaman, J.M. Drake, T. Porco, J.N.S. Eisenberg, S.Y. Del Valle, E. Lofgren, S.V. Scarpino, M.C. Eisenberg, D. Gao, J.M. Hyman, S. Eubank, I.M. Longini


October 24, 2014

Understanding human movement and mobility is important for characterizing, forecasting, and controlling the spatial and temporal spread of infectious diseases. Unfortunately, the current West African Ebola outbreak is taking place in a region where mobility has changed considerably in recent years. Efforts must be made to better understand these mobility patterns. For example, mobile phone call records provide insight into how people move within countries, particularly if they move from hotspots of disease. Analyses of Orange Telecom data have produced initial maps of movement in Senegal and Ivory Coast (1, 2), and endeavors are under way to obtain similar data for Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia.