Living with influenza: Impacts of government imposed and voluntarily selected interventions
Focusing on mitigation strategies for global pandemic influenza, we use elementary mathematical models to evaluate the implementation and timing of non-pharmaceutical intervention strategies such as travel restrictions, social distancing and improved hygiene. A spreadsheet model of infection spread between several linked heterogeneous communities is based on analytical calculations and Monte Carlo simulations. Since human behavior will likely change during the course of a pandemic, thereby altering the dynamics of the disease, we incorporate a feedback parameter into our model to reflect altered behavior. Our results indicate that while a flu pandemic could be devastating; there are coping methods that when implemented quickly and correctly can significantly mitigate the severity of a global outbreak.