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, 245 (4), 231-238

Agent-Based Modeling and Simulation of Nosocomial Infection Among Healthcare Workers During Ebola Virus Disease Outbreak in Sierra Leone

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Agent-Based Modeling and Simulation of Nosocomial Infection Among Healthcare Workers During Ebola Virus Disease Outbreak in Sierra Leone

Tracey Elizabeth Claire Jones-Konneh et al. Tohoku J Exp Med.

Abstract

Healthcare workers (HCWs) are often exposed to nosocomial infection when caring for patients with Ebola Virus Disease (EVD). During the 2014-2016 EVD outbreak in West Africa, more than 200 HCWs died of EVD in Sierra Leone. To determine the factors that are important for preventing infection among HCWs during EVD outbreak, we used agent-based modeling and simulation (ABMS) by focusing on education, training and performance of HCWs. Here, we assumed 1, 000 HCWs as "agents" to analyze their behavior within a given condition and selected four parameters (P1-P4) that are important in the prevention of infection: "initially educated HCWs (P1)", "initially educated trained (P2)", "probability of seeking training (P3)" and "probability of appropriate care procedure (P4)." After varying each parameter from 0% to 100%, P3 and P4 showed a greater effect on reducing the number of HCWs infected during EVD outbreak, compared with the other two parameters. The numbers of infected HCWs were decreased from 897 to 26 and from 1,000 to 59, respectively, when P3 or P4 was increased from 0% to 100%. When P2 was increased from 0% to 100%, the number of HCWs infected was decreased from 166 to 44. Paradoxically, the number of HCWs infected was increased from 56 to 109, when P1 was increased, indicating that initial education alone cannot prevent nosocomial infection. Our results indicate that effective training and appropriate care procedure play an important role in preventing infection. The present model is useful to manage nosocomial infection among HCWs during EVD outbreak.

Keywords: Ebola virus disease; Sierra Leone; agent-based modeling and simulation; healthcare workers; nosocomial infection.

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