Computers vs Ebola: Scientists use big data to predict future disease hotspots

A team of scientists have developed a model that can predict the likelihood of bat species carrying Ebola and other filoviruses using a machine learning algorithm. Filoviruses are a group of long filament shaped viruses that encode their genome on a single-stranded RNA. Ebola is the most well-known example; other filoviruses include Marburg disease. Both are lethal viruses that are spread by coming into contact with bodily fluids from an infected person. The last Ebola outbreak happened in 2014 and resulted in 11,310 deaths, according to the World Health Organisation. Bats are the primary suspects for spreading the disease. It was reported that the first case of the disease which triggered the recent outbreak may have been passed to humans by bats. Scientists led by the Cary Institute of Ecosystem…


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