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Discrete Dynamics in Nature and Society
Volume 2015, Article ID 842792, 9 pages
Research Article

Mathematical Modelling, Simulation, and Optimal Control of the 2014 Ebola Outbreak in West Africa

1Mathématiques pour l’Industrie et la Physique, Institut de Mathématiques de Toulouse, Université Paul Sabatier, 31062 Toulouse Cedex 9, France
2Center for Research and Development in Mathematics and Applications (CIDMA), Department of Mathematics, University of Aveiro, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal

Received 26 December 2014; Accepted 28 February 2015

Academic Editor: Sanling Yuan

Copyright © 2015 Amira Rachah and Delfim F. M. Torres. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The Ebola virus is currently one of the most virulent pathogens for humans. The latest major outbreak occurred in Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia in 2014. With the aim of understanding the spread of infection in the affected countries, it is crucial to modelize the virus and simulate it. In this paper, we begin by studying a simple mathematical model that describes the 2014 Ebola outbreak in Liberia. Then, we use numerical simulations and available data provided by the World Health Organization to validate the obtained mathematical model. Moreover, we develop a new mathematical model including vaccination of individuals. We discuss different cases of vaccination in order to predict the effect of vaccination on the infected individuals over time. Finally, we apply optimal control to study the impact of vaccination on the spread of the Ebola virus. The optimal control problem is solved numerically by using a direct multiple shooting method.