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Multiannual forecasting of seasonal influenza dynamics reveals climatic and evolutionary drivers

Author(s): Axelsen, Jacob Bock; Yaari, Rami; Grenfell, Bryan T.; Stone, Lewi

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Abstract: Human influenza occurs annually in most temperate climatic zones of the world, with epidemics peaking in the cold winter months. Considerable debate surrounds the relative role of epidemic dynamics, viral evolution, and climatic drivers in driving year-to-year variability of outbreaks. The ultimate test of understanding is prediction; however, existing influenza models rarely forecast beyond a single year at best. Here, we use a simple epidemiological model to reveal multiannual predictability based on high-quality influenza surveillance data for Israel; the model fit is corroborated by simple metapopulation comparisons within Israel. Successful forecasts are driven by temperature, humidity, antigenic drift, and immunity loss. Essentially, influenza dynamics are a balance between large perturbations following significant antigenic jumps, interspersed with nonlinear epidemic dynamics tuned by climatic forcing.
Publication Date: 1-Jul-2014
Electronic Publication Date: 16-Jun-2014
Citation: Axelsen, Jacob Bock, Yaari, Rami, Grenfell, Bryan T., Stone, Lewi. (2014). Multiannual forecasting of seasonal influenza dynamics reveals climatic and evolutionary drivers. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111 (26), 9538 - 9542. doi:10.1073/pnas.1321656111
DOI: doi:10.1073/pnas.1321656111
ISSN: 0027-8424
EISSN: 1091-6490
Pages: 9538 - 9542
Type of Material: Journal Article
Journal/Proceeding Title: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Version: Final published version. Article is made available in OAR by the publisher's permission or policy.

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