Monday, September 22, 2014

Rebecca Huteson
Mapping could help stop Ebola’s Spread

The spread of the Ebola virus through West Africa isn’t thoroughly understood. Lars Skog has researched the spread of past epidemics like the Black Death, the Russian Flu Pandemic of 1889, the Asiatic Influenza of 1957 and the Swine Flu to better understand how these diseases are spread. The spread of the Black Death in the fourteenth century bears a resemblance to the spread of the Ebola virus because they are both spread by small mammals. Based on our current level of knowledge on the spread of Ebola, it is spread by fruit bats. Some rural West Africans hunt them, and the disease can also be spread by their droppings.

Answering question regarding preferable bat habitats, what kind of factors change these habitats and how the virus affects the bats health will help to understand how the virus is spread. Geoinformation technology is currently available for public health response organizations, but collecting more data about these bats and the spread of Ebola could help stop it.

Callahan, D. (2014). Mapping could help stop Ebola’s Spread. Directions Magazine. Retrieved from


  1. This is very interesting, and the map is clear and informative. I wonder if they have any maps that georeference the location of bat droppings or concentrated areas of the disease. I feel like maps of those things could positively contribute to the efforts.

  2. This is a very interesting article. I had absolutely no idea that the source of Ebola came from bats. This article is even more interesting when we know now that Dallas has registered their first Ebola case this week. Speaking of the map now, it could be interesting if they could show the ratio of sick people versus non-sick. It would give us a better idea of the Ebola propagation

  3. This is actually the worst Ebola outbreak to date. I think that including a dot map representing outbreaks would have been interesting so that we could see where hot spots for outbreaks are. Urban areas are a given due to the close contact, but I imagine there is also a correlation with rural areas that would rely heavily on bush meat like bats for food.