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Critical Review and Uncertainty Analysis of Factors Influencing Influenza Transmission

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Influenza remains a significant threat to public health, yet there is significant uncertainty about the routes of influenza transmission from an infectious source through the environment to a receptor, and their relative risks. Herein, data pertaining to factors that influence the environmental mediation of influenza transmission are critically reviewed, including: frequency, magnitude and size distribution and virus expiration, inactivation rates, environmental and self‐contact rates, and viral transfer efficiencies during contacts. Where appropriate, two‐stage Monte Carlo uncertainty analysis is used to characterize variability and uncertainty in the reported data. Significant uncertainties are present in most factors, due to: limitations in instrumentation or study realism; lack of documentation of data variability; or lack of study. These analyses, and future experimental work, will improve parameterization of influenza transmission and risk models, facilitating more robust characterization of the magnitude and uncertainty in infection risk.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: August 1, 2011

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