Influenza is a contagious infectious disease and every year approximately 5%-15% of the world's population is infected. An influenza pandemic occurs when approximately 20%-40% of people are infected worldwide. In the last century, three major pandemics were observed which killed millions of people. In 2009, a novel human to human transmissible influenza H1N1 virus caused the first influenza pandemic of the century, killing thousands of people worldwide. Since influenza viruses can reassort and mutate, there will always be a chance of emergence and re-emergence of novel human to human transmissible viruses that may cause future influenza pandemics resulting significant morbidity and mortality. The adverse impact of future influenza pandemics may be minimized through suitable use of intervention strategies. However, the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of these strategies cannot be evaluated through real-world experiments prior to an actual pandemic. Modelling and simulation may partially overcome this problem. An individual-based simulation model called the Albany Model is used in this thesis to evaluate the effectiveness of intervention strategies that are applicable to reduce the morbidity and mortality of a future influenza pandemic. An economic model is also used to measure the associated cost and cost-effectiveness of intervention strategies. The effectiveness of several non-pharmaceutical and pharmaceutical intervention strategies are quantified in this thesis. This thesis suggests that school closure interventions which were applied in different countries during the H1N1 2009 influenza pandemic had minimal effect on reducing morbidity. However, it was found that antiviral drug strategies would have been more effective if they had been coupled with school closure interventions. The effectiveness of different types of school closure interventions during an influenza pandemic was evaluated.
|Qualification||Doctor of Philosophy|
|Publication status||Unpublished - 2012|