Without including social, cultural and behavioural responses to the Ebola epidemic, models may overestimate outbreak size (Nature 515, 18; 2014).
Behavioural response, triggered by an epidemic, can slow down or even stop virus transmission (see S. Funk et al. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 106, 6872–6877; 2009). Indeed, altered cultural perception in response to the disease enabled people's behaviour to change in ways that helped to contain outbreaks in the past (see B. S. Hewlett and R. P. Amola Emerg. Infect. Dis. 9, 1242–1248; 2003).
Reports from Foya in Liberia indicate that the outbreak there is now in decline. A local information campaign to change funeral practices and other behaviours seems to have paid off.
More aid and more personnel are urgently needed, but so is the involvement of local communities and the provision of information that can help to contain this epidemic.
About this article
Cite this article
Funk, S., Knight, G. & Jansen, V. Ebola: the power of behaviour change. Nature 515, 492 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1038/515492b
Social media effectiveness as a humanitarian response to mitigate influenza epidemic and COVID-19 pandemic
Annals of Operations Research (2021)
Social Network Analysis and Mining (2021)
Perspectives on model forecasts of the 2014–2015 Ebola epidemic in West Africa: lessons and the way forward
BMC Medicine (2017)