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The spring of 2009 witnessed the emergence of a novel influenza A(H1N1) virus resulting in the first influenza pandemic since 1968. In autumn of 2010, the 2009 novel H1N1 influenza strain re-emerged. We performed a retrospective time-series analysis of all patients with laboratory-confirmed H1N1 influenza who presented to our institution during 2009. Cases of influenza were assembled into 3-day aggregates and forecasting models of H1N1 influenza incidence were created. Forecasting estimates of H1N1 incidence for the 2010–2011 season were compared to actual values for our institution to assess model performance. Ninety-five percent confidence intervals calculated around our model's forecasts were accurate to ±3·6 cases per 3-day period for our institution. Our results suggest that time-series models may be useful tools in forecasting the incidence of H1N1 influenza, helping institutions to optimize distribution of resources based on the changing burden of illness.
It is only possible to achieve a resilient community and an integrated, comprehensive, and resilient health system that can respond effectively to a public health emergency through active collaboration, coordination, and shared responsibility among a broad group of public and private stakeholders and the community itself. The Institute of Medicine established the Forum on Medical and Public Health Preparedness for Catastrophic Events in 2007 to provide a neutral venue for dialogue and collaboration among stakeholders in the preparedness field. In the Forum's first year, the members began to address topics such as medical countermeasures dispensing, crisis standards of care, and medical surge capacity. In the past 9 months, the Forum members have expanded their areas of interest in response to current events and national areas of focus. Current topics include individual, family, and community preparedness and resiliency; medical countermeasures from development through dispensing; and the response to the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic. Across all of the initiatives undertaken by the Forum, the common element is that they tackle problems, gaps, and future opportunities that can only be successfully addressed if multiple stakeholders work together.
(Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2010;4:174-177)