Pandemic Influenza Modeling
Analyzing the Influenza Outbreak
In late April 2009, the U.S. Government declared a public health emergency due to an outbreak of novel influenza A (H1N1). NISAC, within the DHS Homeland Infrastructure Threat and Analysis Center, Risk Modeling and Development Branch, provided analysis support to decision makers by responding to immediate requests for information on diverse issues such as border closure impacts, economic impacts of travel restrictions, and potential overloads to the Nation's healthcare system.
NISAC generated new analysis results within a timeframe of days, drawing on relevant information from its more extensive 2007 H5N1 pandemic influenza study and fast-response analysis. NISAC's results were used to inform DHS senior leadership.
Modeling Potential Impacts of a Pandemic
Subsequently, at the request of the Office of Health Affairs, NISAC conducted a 45-day study on potential impacts of an H1N1 pandemic on the U.S. population and economy. NISAC projected disease spread and its effects on population and healthcare system, gauged optimal resource distribution strategies, and estimated the impact of mortality and absenteeism on the economy.
Analysis results show that the most significant mitigation factors are rapid production of a fully effective vaccine and social distancing. Increased demand and staff absenteeism has the potential to severely stress the healthcare system. Absenteeism impacts are expected to be greatest in labor-intensive industries. Decisions concerning intervention strategies can dramatically affect societal functions. NISAC's results will be used to inform CIKR representatives on the potential impacts of a recurrence of novel 2009 H1N1 influenza in the United States.