A review of epidemiological parameters from Ebola outbreaks to inform early public health decision-making

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A database of estimates of epidemiological parameters based on data about past outbreaks (to April 2015) has been created to improve understanding of the initial spread of Ebola virus disease (EVD) and to inform surveillance and control guidance.

Information from 49 papers, along with World Health Organization Disease Outbreak News, was used to make tables of estimates, confidence intervals and ranges for parameters such as the incubation period, the case fatality rate (CFR), basic reproduction number, effective reproduction number, serial interval and generation time. Delay distributions, e.g. from symptom onset to death, are also collated. The article includes tables and figures. Significant risk factors for the development of EVD are reported and include both direct physical contact and non-physical contact. Data from the ongoing outbreak in West Africa are checked against results in this review and are comparable.

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