Improving the evidence base for decision making during a pandemic: the example of 2009 influenza A/H1N1

2009 H1n1 Surveillance Group

Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-articlepeer-review


This article synthesizes and extends discussions held during an international meeting on "Surveillance for Decision Making: The Example of 2009 Pandemic Influenza A/H1N1," held at the Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics (CCDD), Harvard School of Public Health, on June 14 and 15, 2010. The meeting involved local, national, and global health authorities and academics representing 7 countries on 4 continents. We define the needs for surveillance in terms of the key decisions that must be made in response to a pandemic: how large a response to mount and which control measures to implement, for whom, and when. In doing so, we specify the quantitative evidence required to make informed decisions. We then describe the sources of surveillance and other population-based data that can presently--or in the future--form the basis for such evidence, and the interpretive tools needed to process raw surveillance data. We describe other inputs to decision making besides epidemiologic and surveillance data, and we conclude with key lessons of the 2009 pandemic for designing and planning surveillance in the future.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBiosecurity and Bioterrorism : Biodefense Strategy, Practice, and Science
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)89-115
Number of pages27
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • Communicable Diseases, Emerging/epidemiology
  • Data Collection
  • Data Interpretation, Statistical
  • Decision Making, Organizational
  • Humans
  • Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype
  • Influenza, Human/epidemiology
  • Pandemics
  • Population Surveillance
  • Public Opinion
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Vaccination/methods


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