Navigation Links
Measuring the uncertainties of pandemic influenza
Date:7/2/2012

A major collaboration between US research centers has highlighted three factors that could ultimately determine whether an outbreak of influenza becomes a serious epidemic that threatens national health. The research suggests that the numbers in current response plans could be out by a factor of two or more depending on the characteristics of the particular pandemic influenza.

Researchers from Argonne, Los Alamos, and Sandia National Laboratories, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, have used sensitivity analysis to uncover the most important disease characteristics pertaining to the spread of infection with an influenza virus. These are: the fraction of the transmission that occurs prior to symptoms, the reproductive number, and the length of each disease stage. Their use of data from past pandemics as well as information on potential viral evolution demonstrates that current response planning may underestimate the pandemic consequences significantly.

"It has become critical to assess the potential range of consequences of a pandemic influenza outbreak given the uncertainty about its disease characteristics while investigating risks and mitigation strategies of vaccines, antiviral drugs, and social distancing measures," explains Jeanne Fair of Los Alamos National Laboratory and her colleagues. The team has used a simulation model and rigorous experimental design with sensitivity analysis to show the extremes of consequences of a potential pandemic outbreak in the USA. The simulation incorporates uncertainty in the evolution and characteristics of the pathogen and differences in the epidemic response, and uncertainties in the sociological response to a pandemic.

Although we are yet to face an H5N1 avian influenza epidemic, the team suggests that they have nevertheless been able to develop a worst-case scenario for all possibilities considering mortality rates and infectiousness based on current knowledge and historical patterns dating back to the 1917-1918 global pandemic. They suggest that a future worst-case influenza pandemic might be up to four times as lethal as the pandemic that occurred towards the end of the Great War. Moreover, their simulation suggests that the use of antiviral drugs may not be as effective as healthcare authorities would hope. On a positive note, they have found that social distancing could be the most effective way to contain the spread of infection, usefully reducing symptoms by an average of 16% although it will cost 50% more than antiviral use through lost working days and commerce.

"Do we prepare for the worst-case scenario when preparing for a pandemic?" asks Fair. "While the worst-case scenario is indeed the worst, it may not be as likely. As far as mortality rates, the 1918 was the worst but really still was only around 2% which is could be considered low." While, the next pandemic could be worse than that of 1917-1918, the worst case scenario may not be as likely, the team concludes. Their study supports earlier findings that no single, pure strategy is best and that a mix of pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical interventions will be needed to contain the disease and reduce the total number of deaths. It would be prudent to incorporate these findings in planning for the next pandemic, the team asserts.


'/>"/>

Contact: Jeanne M. Fair
jmfair@lanl.gov
Inderscience Publishers
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Once-Banned Bird Flu Study Suggests Pandemic Threat Is Real
2. Pandemic H1N1 Flu Killed Far More Than Reported: Study
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/28/2017)... Ohio (PRWEB) , ... March 28, 2017 , ... Columbus ... was selected as one of few medical professionals in the country to sit on ... Founder of Juvly Aesthetics, in just 2 years Dr. Harper helped propel the clinic ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... ... March 28, 2017 , ... Prominant bariatric surgeon and well-known ... to offer the recently FDA-approved Obalon Balloon System to his patients. The Obalon ... Surgical’s already comprehensive list of weight-loss services. Dr. Liu is proud to ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... ... March 28, 2017 , ... With expansion and efficiency in ... early March. , The seed processing plant opened in Marshallville in 2006, and a ... new office allows opportunity for transition of Patten Seed operations to the Middle Georgia ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... , ... March 28, 2017 , ... Thank you to ... on February 8-10. , This event was exclusive to providers and offered an ... The meeting took place at the Manchester Grand Hyatt where attendees gathered for a ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... ... ... and fungi are probably not the first ingredients that come to mind when thinking about ... your diet can actually improve health outcomes. And the good news is they may be ... new peer-reviewed paper led by Maria Marco, Ph.D. , University of California, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:3/27/2017)... NEW YORK , March 27, 2017 FinancialBuzz.com ... According to a ... North America , grew 34 percent to $6.7 billion ... growth rate of (CAGR) over the next five years, from $6.7 billion ... portion of Americans that will be able to purchase cannabis without a ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... 2017 The staggering cost of cancer treatment ... access to the latest treatment options against cancer. Even ... patients have inadequate or no health insurance and are ... Access to modern cancer treatment is almost non-existent for ... The mission statements of pharmaceutical and biotech companies ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... NASHUA, N.H. , March 27, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... image analysis, workflow solutions and radiation therapy for ... announced that PowerLook® Tomo Detection received Premarket Approval ... (FDA). PowerLook Tomo Detection is a first-of-its-kind, concurrent-read ... tomosynthesis and is the latest innovation available on ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: