Simulation study shows that pandemic swine flu had a minor impact in Finland

March 24, 2016

Researchers have used modeling to estimate the true impact of infectious diseases, such as swine flu, when underreporting can mean the surveillance from time of the pandemic can miss the vast majority of infections that occur in the population.

New research published in PLOS Computational Biology by Mikhail Shubin et al from the National Institute for Health and Welfare uses simulations to estimate the effect of the swine flu pandemic in Finland. This research offers a platform to assess the severity of flu seasons at various levels of the healthcare system, when previously the number of infected individuals has been uncertain.

The researchers built a low-scale simulation model of Finland that simulates the spread of influenza in the population. The model accounts for the transmission of influenza in the population, the impact of vaccination, outcomes of varying severity and imperfect detection of flu.

The study shows that the impact on Finland was minor, as less than 10% of the population was infected with swine flu during the first two seasons in 2009-2011, with the highest incidences of the disease initially occurring in younger people.

Shubin et al's research also measures the impact of the vaccination campaign in which approximately half of the Finnish population were vaccinated by February 2010. They show that vaccinations significantly reduced the transmissibility of the virus as the proportion of the population infected during the second season was only 3%. This research shows that the second season could have started earlier and caused a larger outbreak, leading to 4-8 times more infections overall.

The study emphasises that statistical modelling and simulation can be used to evaluate incomplete infectious disease surveillance data in emerging infections.
-end-
For further information please contact: Mikhail Shubin

In your coverage please use this URL to provide access to the freely available article in PLOS Computational Biology: http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pcbi.1004803

Press-only preview: https://www.plos.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/pcbi.1004803-PRESS-PREVIEW.pdf

Contact: Mikhail Shubin< Ph: 358445209938

Citation: Shubin M, Lebedev A, Lyytikäinen O, Auranen K (2016) Revealing the True Incidence of Pandemic A(H1N1)pdm09 Influenza in Finland during the First Two Seasons -- An Analysis Based on a Dynamic Transmission Model. PLoS Comput Biol 12 (3): e1004803. doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1004803

Funding: National Institute for Health and Welfare, Finland, funded the project and provided the dataset. MS was funded by FICS graduate school and Academy of Finland grant no. 251170. The funders had no role in study design, data analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

About PLOS Computational Biology

PLOS Computational Biology features works of exceptional significance that further our understanding of living systems at all scales through the application of computational methods. For more information follow @PLOSCompBiol on Twitter or contact ploscompbiol@plos.org.

Media and Copyright Information

For information about PLOS Computational Biology relevant to journalists, bloggers and press officers, including details of our press release process and embargo policy, visit http://journals.plos.org/ploscompbiol/s/press-and-media .

PLOS Journals publish under a Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits free reuse of all materials published with the article, so long as the work is cited.

About the Public Library of Science

The Public Library of Science (PLOS) PLOS is a nonprofit publisher and advocacy organization founded to accelerate progress in science and medicine by leading a transformation in research communication. For more information, visit http://www.plos.org.

Disclaimer

This press release refers to upcoming articles in PLOS Computational Biology. The releases have been provided by the article authors and/or journal staff. Any opinions expressed in these are the personal views of the contributors, and do not necessarily represent the views or policies of PLOS. PLOS expressly disclaims any and all warranties and liability in connection with the information found in the release and article and your use of such information.

PLOS

Related Infectious Diseases Articles from Brightsurf:

Understanding the spread of infectious diseases
Physicists at M√ľnster University (Germany) have shown in model simulations that the COVID-19 infection rates decrease significantly through social distancing.

Forecasting elections with a model of infectious diseases
Election forecasting is an innately challenging endeavor, with results that can be difficult to interpret and may leave many questions unanswered after close races unfold.

COVID-19 a reminder of the challenge of emerging infectious diseases
The emergence and rapid increase in cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), a respiratory illness caused by a novel coronavirus, pose complex challenges to the global public health, research and medical communities, write federal scientists from NIH's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Certain antidepressants could provide treatment for multiple infectious diseases
Some antidepressants could potentially be used to treat a wide range of diseases caused by bacteria living within cells, according to work by researchers in the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine and collaborators at other institutions.

Opioid epidemic is increasing rates of some infectious diseases
The US faces a public health crisis as the opioid epidemic fuels growing rates of certain infectious diseases, including HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, heart infections, and skin and soft tissue infections.

Infectious diseases could be diagnosed with smartphones in sub-Saharan Africa
A new Imperial-led review has outlined how health workers could use existing phones to predict and curb the spread of infectious diseases.

The Lancet Infectious Diseases: Experts warn of a surge in vector-borne diseases as humanitarian crisis in Venezuela worsens
The ongoing humanitarian crisis in Venezuela is accelerating the re-emergence of vector-borne diseases such as malaria, Chagas disease, dengue, and Zika virus, and threatens to jeopardize public health gains in the country over the past two decades, warn leading public health experts.

Glow-in-the-dark paper as a rapid test for infectious diseases
Researchers from Eindhoven University of Technology (The Netherlands) and Keio University (Japan) present a practicable and reliable way to test for infectious diseases.

Math shows how human behavior spreads infectious diseases
Mathematics can help public health workers better understand and influence human behaviors that lead to the spread of infectious disease, according to a study from the University of Waterloo.

Many Americans say infectious and emerging diseases in other countries will threaten the US
An overwhelming majority of Americans (95%) think infectious and emerging diseases facing other countries will pose a 'major' or 'minor' threat to the U.S. in the next few years, but more than half (61%) say they are confident the federal government can prevent a major infectious disease outbreak in the US, according to a new national public opinion survey commissioned by Research!America and the American Society for Microbiology.

Read More: Infectious Diseases News and Infectious Diseases Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.