Simulating Influenza Outbreaks in Local Communities


Morin M.,Eriksson H.,Jenvald J.,Timpka T.


The paper presents the design of a simulator of influenza outbreaks in local communities and the results of initial tests. The purpose of the simulator is to support local decision makers in analyzing and predicting the effects of various public health interventions, both for planning before an epidemic and for disease control during an outbreak. Combining models of population structure, disease dynamics, and intervention strategies, the simulator provides an estimate of the reproductive number, which is a measure of how rapidly the disease spreads in a community. Model requirements, simulator algorithms, and design tradeoffs are described and discussed in the light of results from four Swedish municipalities.