Analyzing the dynamics of the Ebola outbreak...using the IDEA model

In 2013, we (David Fisman, Tanya Hauck, Ashleigh Tuite and myself) published a paper called an IDEA for short term outbreak projection. The IDEA (incidence decay and exponential adjustment) model was based on the idea that we could use simple types of public health surveillance data and turn that information into reliably accurate projections of what might happen in the outbreak in the short-term. In that paper, we suggested that although we had tested the model using a few case studies, further evaluation in the context of real-world outbreaks would establish the utility of IDEA as a tool for front-line epidemiologists. Well look no further...the IDEA model is being tested to see how it performs using data from the ongoing Ebola outbreak. You can check out how the model is performing at the following link. You can also read more about the role that mathematical epidemiology is playing in the Ebola outbreak in this article published in Science magazine.