Influenza Pandemic Waves under Various Mitigation Strategies with 2009 H1N1 as a Case Study
A significant feature of influenza pandemics is multiple waves of morbidity and mortality over a few months or years. The size of these successive waves depends on intervention strategies including antivirals and vaccination, as well as the effects of immunity gained from previous infection. However, the global vaccine manufacturing capacity is limited. Also, antiviral stockpiles are costly and thus, are limited to very few countries. The combined effect of antivirals and vaccination in successive waves of a pandemic has not been quantified. The effect of acquired immunity from vaccination and previous infection has also not been characterized. In times of a pandemic threat countries must consider the effects of a limited vaccine, limited antiviral use and the effects of prior immunity so as to adopt a pandemic strategy that will best aid the population. We developed a mathematical model describing the first and second waves of an influenza pandemic including drug therapy, vaccination and acquired immunity. The first wave model includes the use of antiviral drugs under different treatment profiles. In the second wave model the effects of antivirals, vaccination and immunity gained from the first wave are considered. The models are used to characterize the severity of infection in a population under different drug therapy and vaccination strategies, as well as school closure, so that public health policies regarding future influenza pandemics are better informed.
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