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Critical Review and Uncertainty Analysis of Factors Influencing Influenza Transmission

Authors

  • Rachael M. Jones

    Corresponding author
      Address correspondence to Rachael M. Jones, School of Public Health, University of Illinois at Chicago, 2121 W Taylor St, Chicago, IL 60612, USA; tel: 312-996-1960; fax: 312-966-6904; rjones25@uic.edu.
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Address correspondence to Rachael M. Jones, School of Public Health, University of Illinois at Chicago, 2121 W Taylor St, Chicago, IL 60612, USA; tel: 312-996-1960; fax: 312-966-6904; rjones25@uic.edu.

Abstract

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.

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