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The influenza pandemic preparedness planning tool InfluSim

DOI: 10.1186/1471-2334-7-17

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Abstract:

InfluSim is a deterministic compartment model based on a system of over 1,000 differential equations which extend the classic SEIR model by clinical and demographic parameters relevant for pandemic preparedness planning. It allows for producing time courses and cumulative numbers of influenza cases, outpatient visits, applied antiviral treatment doses, hospitalizations, deaths and work days lost due to sickness, all of which may be associated with economic aspects. The software is programmed in Java, operates platform independent and can be executed on regular desktop computers.InfluSim is an online available software http://www.influsim.info webcite which efficiently assists public health planners in designing optimal interventions against pandemic influenza. It can reproduce the infection dynamics of pandemic influenza like complex computer simulations while offering at the same time reproducibility, higher computational performance and better operability.Preparedness against pandemic influenza has become a high priority public health issue and many countries that have pandemic preparedness plans [1]. For the design of such plans, mathematical models and computer simulations play an essential role because they allow to predict and compare the effects of different intervention strategies [2]. The outstanding significance of the tools for purposes of intervention optimization is limited by the fact that they cannot maximize realism, generality and precision at the same time [3]. Public health planners, on the other hand, wish to have an optimal combination of these properties, because they need to formulate intervention strategies which can be generalized into recommendations, but are sufficiently realistic and precise to satisfy public health requirements.Published influenza models which came into application, are represented by two extremes: generalized but over-simplified models without dynamic structure which are publicly available (e.g. [4]), and complex comput

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