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EP.243
Determining the Factors Influencing the Duration of Global Influenza Epidemics

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Introduction

•Influenza is a highly infectious acute respiratory illness that infects 5-15% or the world’s population annually.
•In the US, it is associated with 20,000 annual hospitalisations, mortality estimates range up to 49,000 and places significant demand on Intensive Care Units
•Previous studies have found numerous factors associated with epidemic severity including seasonality, humidity, temperatures, latitude and longitude, immunosuppression, air travel and pollution
 
Aims and Data Source
 

WHO FluNet Database

•Global web-based tool for influenza surveillance data
•140 National Influenza Centers around the world

 Our aims were to:

•Describe global trends in influenza spread
•Compare the epidemiology of influenza between temperate and tropical countries
•Establish the factors that influence the duration of epidemics on a global scale
•Fit the best possible statistical model of seasonal duration of influenza.
 
Conclusion

The duration of influenza epidemics has significant consequences on public health strategy and implementation.

Our final regression model demonstrates increases in epidemic duration with larger populations, higher temperature and humidity and greater temperature differences when adjusting for all other factors.

An increase in latitude and country size was associated with shorter epidemics.

We aim to develop mechanistic models for forecasting.

 

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