The emergence of the highly pathogenic avian H5N1 virus raised the alarm about the threat posed by novel strains of influenza A gaining transmissibility to people and causing a human pandemic. To mitigate the impact of such a pandemic on human health, the EU funded the ′Modelling the spread of pandemic influenza and strategies for its containment and mitigation′ (Flumodcont) project. Flumodcont was designed to support the development of policies, planning and response procedures in case of a flu pandemic. For this purpose, the consortium used mathematical models to simulate realistic pandemic spread scenarios and evaluate various control policies. The model took into account the role of virus transmission within schools, providing an assessment of the potential role of school holidays in shaping the infection impact. Data from 1889 to 1968 pandemics were used to standardise estimation procedures in computational models that could be used for performing detailed scenario analyses of interventions. One of the outputs of the project was a software package that simulated very efficiently, using an individual-based model, the spread of influenza pandemic at a European scale. During the A/H1N1 influenza pandemic of 2009, the consortium partners were actively involved in supporting national and international health agencies by providing an assessment of the situation. The Flumodcont-generated modelling approach was used to retrospectively analyse the epidemiological parameters and determinant factors that shaped the observed pattern of spread of the 2009 H1N1 pandemic in Europe. Also, by running two surveys, one before the infection had spread and a second after the main pandemic wave, researchers were to draw important conclusions on public intention and actual behaviour. This information could be essential for planning future communication strategies for infection management. The project’s technical advancements with respect to modelling of the spread of an influenza epidemic offer promising solutions for designing future surveillance, planning and responses.

MMLAP and other EU Projects

Health system analysis to support capacity development in response to the threat of pandemic influenza in Asia
Making society an active participant in water adaptation to global change
Public Participation in Developing a Common Framework for Assessment and Management of Sustainable Innovation
Engaging all of Europe in shaping a desirable and sustainable future
Expect the unexpected and know how to respond
Driving innovation in crisis management for European resilience
Effective communication in outbreak management: development of an evidence-based tool for Europe
Solutions to improve CBRNe resilience
Network for Communicable Disease Control in Southern Europe and Mediterranean Countries
Developing the framework for an epidemic forecast infrastructure
Strengthening of the national surveillance system for communicable diseases
Surveillance of vaccine preventable hepatitis
European monitoring of excess mortality for public health action
European network for highly infectious disease
Dedicated surveillance network for surveillance and control of vaccine preventable diseases in the EU
Modelling the spread of pandemic influenza and strategies for its containment and mitigation
Cost-effectiveness assessment of european influenza human pandemic alert and response strategies
Bridging the gap between science, stakeholders and policy makers
Promotion of immunization for health professionals in Europe
Towards inclusive research programming for sustainable food innovations
Addressing chronic diseases and healthy ageing across the life cycle
Medical ecosystem – personalized event-based surveillance
Studying the many and varied economic, social, legal and ethical aspects of the recent developments on the Internet, and their consequences for the individual and society at large
Get involved in the responsible marine research and innovation
Knowledge-based policy-making on issues involving science, technology and innovation, mainly based upon the practices in Parliamentary Technology Assessment
Assessment of the current pandemic preparedness and response tools, systems and practice at national, EU and global level in priority areas
Analysis of innovative public engagement tools and instruments for dynamic governance in the field of Science in Society
Public Engagement with Research And Research Engagement with Society
Computing Veracity – the Fourth Challenge of Big Data
Providing infrastructure, co-ordination and integration of existing clinical research networks on epidemics and pandemics
Promote vaccinations among migrant population in Europe
Creating mechanisms for effectively tackling the scientific and technology related challenges faced by society
Improve the quality of indoor air, keeping it free from radon
Improving respect of ethics principles and laws in research and innovation, in line with the evolution of technologies and societal concerns
Investigating how cities in the West securitise against global pandemics
Creating a structured dialogue and mutual learning with citizens and urban actors by setting up National Networks in 10 countries across Europe
Identifying how children can be change agents in the Science and Society relationship
Establishing an open dialogue between stakeholders concerning synthetic biology’s potential benefits and risks
Transparent communication in Epidemics: Learning Lessons from experience, delivering effective Messages, providing Evidence