News and Spotlights

CDC Pandemic Severity Assessment Model

Model shows 2018 H7N9 pandemic is a “very high severity” pandemic.

CDC developed a framework called the “Pandemic Severity Assessment Model” to evaluate the severity of flu seasons and pandemics.

There are two main factors that are used to help determine the impact of a pandemic, or how “bad” the pandemic will be. The first is “severity,” or the risk to a person for developing serious health complications as a result of becoming infected with the flu virus. The second factor is “transmissibility,” or how quickly and how many people we expect the virus to infect and make ill. These two factors combined are used to guide decisions about which actions CDC recommends at a given time during the pandemic.

CDC has determined that the 2018 H7N9 pandemic is a “very high severity” pandemic as determined by transmissibility and by clinical severity based on available data. What we know about the pandemic right now is that the virus appears to be spreading more quickly and to more people than what we would expect to see during a typical flu season. This represents a highly severe pandemic that is likely to cause significant stress on the health-care system and on schools, businesses and public services.

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