247635 Use of Predictive Disease Modeling in Los Angeles County: Planning for and Responding to Pandemic Influenza

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 3:20 PM

Brandon Dean, MPH , Emergency Preparedness and Response, County of Los Angeles-Department of Public Health, Los Angeles, CA
Dee Ann Bagwell, MA, MPH , Department of Public Health, Los Angeles County, Los Angeles, CA
Brit Oiulfstad, DVM, MPH , Acute Communicable Disease Control Program, Los Angeles Department of Health Services, Los Angeles, CA
Planning for pandemic influenza is a significant challenge, particularly in a large urban community. To improve planning and response outcomes, Los Angeles County employed robust disease simulation models to validate and focus local strategies and plans. Initially designed for a H5N1 like scenario, the model was quickly and continuously adjusted during H1N1 to improve response efforts. The use of the model required four steps: 1-Build a synthetic version of the community; 2-Utilize best available epidemiological data; 3-Apply realistic intervention strategies; 4-Adjust simulations to identify most effective response policies. To increase model utility the best available data was incorporated, including: latest census estimates; commuter data and transportation patterns; age dependent transmission probability rates, range of Ro (1.2 – 2.1) and numerous vaccine, anti-viral and non-pharmaceutical distribution strategies; all based on local capacities. The results improved pandemic influenza planning in three ways: 1-Oriented Vaccination Plans: Vaccination of school age children is most effective way to mitigate spread throughout community; also quantified the effects of delayed vaccine distribution. 2-Validated School Closure Strategies. Closures and dismissals—unless hyper aggressive and sustained—are ineffective. 3-Influenced Innovative Response. Early, targeted prophylactic use of anti-viral countermeasures—via household contacts of confirmed ill—can dampen community transmission. A myriad of issues challenge effective pandemic planning and response. This modeling process provides an effective tool to quantify threats, evaluate intervention capabilities and create plans and policies to guide operational response actions. While specific to pandemic influenza in Los Angeles, the application to other jurisdictions and diseases is a prudent consideration.

Learning Areas:
Biostatistics, economics
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Protection of the public in relation to communicable diseases including prevention or control
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
1-Demonstrate the benefits of using a locally based, practice oriented, predictive disease modeling to prepare for, and respond to large scale communicable disease outbreaks. 2-Identify three specific ways in which the use of mathematical modeling improved pandemic influenza planning and response outcomes in Los Angeles County. 3-Discuss the potential applications of this project and respective methodology to other local health jurisdictions.

Keywords: Epidemiology, Infectious Diseases

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I am responsible for the development and utilization of predictive disease modeling to improve the strategic and operational public health response capabilities in Los Angeles.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.