• Journal Article

Using influenza-like illness data to reconstruct an influenza outbreak


Cooley, P., Ganapathi, L., Ghneim, G., Holmberg, S., Wheaton, W., & Hollingsworth, C. (2008). Using influenza-like illness data to reconstruct an influenza outbreak. Mathematical and Computer Modelling, 48(5-6), 929-939. DOI: 10.1016/j.mcm.2007.11.016


The objective of this study was to reconstruct the type A influenza epidemic that occurred in the Research Triangle Park (RTP) region of North Carolina during the 2003–04 flu season. We describe an agent-based influenza transmission model that uses Influenza-like Illness (ILI) data gathered from state agencies to estimate model parameters. The design of the model is similar to models represented in the literature that have been used to predict the impact of pandemic avian influenza in Southeast Asia and in the continental United States and to assess containment strategies. The focus of this model is to reconstruct a historical epidemic that left traces of its impact in the form of an ILI epidemic curve. In this context, the work assumes aspects of a curve fitting exercise.