ECDC risk assessment: three nice visuals

24 07 2009

I’ve been dipping into the European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention’s (“ECDC”) “Interim Risk Assessment 20th July 2009″ document again. I posted on this report’s executive summary here, earlier this week.

I’ve come across three nice visuals in this report.

The first (below) is a picture of the difference between normal seasonal influenza and pandemic influenza. It shows the difference in a way that words can’t:


Pandemics come in waves. The second visual from the ECDC risk assessment is a stylised “first wave” that they suggest using for planning purposes:


The third visual looks at historical “clinical attack rates” from previous pandemics, and the attack rate in a normal seasonal flu wave.  The “clinical attack rate” for a pandemic is the proportion of the population that gets infected (and gets symptoms) over the course of the first wave of the pandemic. In other words – it is a cumulative figure for the wave of infections – showing the proportion of the population that will end up getting sick at some point over the time that the wave lasts.

clinical attack rates

Please note that I have lifted all these visuals shalemessly from the ECDC’s Interim Risk Assessment Report. You can see the full report, and these images in their proper context, here.




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