The Ebola Crisis and the Corresponding Public Behavior: A System Dynamics Approach

A healthcare social media research article published in PLoS Currents, November 2, 2016

Title
The Ebola Crisis and the Corresponding Public Behavior: A System Dynamics Approach
Authors (alpha)
Hiroki Sayama, Nasim S. Sabounchi, Nasser Sharareh, Roderick MacDonald
Published
November 2, 2016
Journal
PLoS Currents
DOI
10.1371/currents.outbreaks.23badd9821870a002fa86bef6893c01d
Pubmed
27974995
Altmetric
A healthcare social media research article published in PLoS Currents, November 2, 2016

Abstract

The interaction of several sociocultural and environmental factors during an epidemic crisis leads to behavioral responses that consequently make the crisis control a complex problem. The system dynamics approach has been adopted to study the relationships between spread of disease, public attention, situational awareness, and community's response to the Ebola epidemic. In developing different simulation models to capture the trend of death and incidence data from the World Health Organization for the Ebola outbreak, the final model has the best fit to the historical trends. Results demonstrate that the increase of quarantining rate over time due to increase in situational awareness and performing safe burials had a significant impact on the control of epidemic. However, public attention did not play a significant role. The best fit to historical data are achieved when behavioral factors specific to West Africa like studying the Situational Awareness and Public Attention are included in the model. However, by ignoring the sociocultural factors, the model is not able to represent the reality; therefore, in the case of any epidemics, it is necessary that all the parties and community members find the most significant behavioral factors that can curb the epidemic.


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Altmetric

The Altmetric Attention Score is based on the attention a research article gets on the internet. Each coloured thread in the circle represents a different type of online attention and the number in the centre is the Altmetric Attention Score. The score is calculated based on two main sources of online attention: social media and mainstream news media.