About the tool
Developed in response to the West African outbreak, this visualization tool allows international stakeholders and decision-makers to understand areas within countries that are environmentally favorable for zoonotic transmission of Ebola virus disease (EVD). The research combined the geographic distribution of bats species known or suspected to host EVD with other environmental factors such as rainfall and vegetation, with known Ebola index case data points and animal infections to describe an environmental profile for areas that are likely well-suited for EVD presence. This profile was evaluated across Africa and identified 23 countries with locations that are environmentally suitable for EVD.
As the environmental suitability and bat distribution layers are displayed at a 5 km x 5 km grid across Africa, the map can be used to pinpoint areas favorable for EVD transmission. Animal specialists within countries can use this tool to sample wildlife in highly suitable areas for EVD. The visualization tool was piloted at a workshop in Accra, Ghana, in February 2016 to decision-makers from countries identified as being at risk of zoonotic EVD. Details of this workshop can be found at the following link: http://www.healthdata.org/acting-data/mapping-ebola-prepare-future-outbreaks.
Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME). Spatial epidemiology of Ebola virus disease visualization. Seattle, WA: IHME, University of Washington, 2016. Available from http://vizhub.healthdata.org/ebola . (Accessed [INSERT DATE])