Volume 19, Number 2, Summer 2011
A CLASSICAL APPROACH FOR ESTIMATING
THE TRANSMISSIBILITY OF THE 2009 H1N1
LUIZ C. MOSTAC¸O-GUIDOLIN, NICK J. PIZZI
AND SEYED M. MOGHADAS
Abstract. Following the emergence of an infectious disease, estimates of parameters pertaining to the nature of infection and its epidemiological characteristics are necessary to inform health policy decision making, and identify the type and intensity of interventions required for the prevention and control of disease spread. Mathematical modelling has proven to be an essential tool for describing disease dynamics in the population, and providing frameworks for estimating such parameters. Here, we apply a classical approach to demonstrate the usefulness of a simple mathematical model in estimating the reproduction number of a disease, defined as the number of secondary infections generated by a single infected case. Using data for laboratory confirmed cases of the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic, we estimate its transmissibility in Winnipeg, an urban centre in the province of Manitoba, Canada. While detailing our results, we discuss the importance of integrating modelling, data analysis, simulations, and translating the findings into the context of public health for managing an emerging crisis.