NCCID leads a collaborative project aimed at responding to recognized knowledge gaps related to the prevention and control of influenza. The kinds of persistent problems seen and the solutions to these problems relate to the mandate of all the National Collaborating Centres for Public Health (NCCPH), making influenza and influenza-like illness an important area for collaboration.
The two-year project brings the expertise of the six NCCPH to bear on knowledge translation needs of public health and primary care professionals. Questions remain about surveillance methods, estimates of the burden of influenza, the effectiveness of vaccination and other prevention strategies, and equitable delivery of services. A suite of knowledge products will be produced to address these and other issues.
Where are the gaps?
Influenza and influenza-like illnesses (ILI) are a persistent public health issue that practitioners have to deal with annually, caused by seasonal influenza and other respiratory pathogens, as well as under emergency situations in pandemics. Many unanswered questions remain about how to best measure, control and communicate what we know about influenza. NCCID and its partners asked public health stakeholders — what are the priorities and what types of knowledge projects are most useful?
The themes and questions most often mentioned were Vaccines effectiveness, Primary prevention, Rapid diagnostics, Surveillance & burden of illness, Communication & messaging, and Equity.
Learn more about each theme here.
The National Collaborating Centre for Infectious Diseases is undertaking several projects aimed at strengthening the evidence-base and methods used to support decisions on when, among whom, and how best to intervene, particularly to avoid severe outcomes of influenza.
- Burden of illness: Influenza
The project explores the conceptual and methodological groundwork to understand the true burden of disease of Influenza and ILI. A first document is a primer on how burden is typically measured.
- Vaccine effectiveness
Two evidence reviews are planned, including a brief on this season’s vaccine and another more expansive review which seeks to differentiate outcomes by severity and populations at risk.
- Modelling influenza
Clear and consistent use of terms among modellers and a logical framework for modelling influenza are the starting points of this work aimed at improving collaboration with infectious disease epidemiologists and public health planners.
Collaboration & Project Components
With coordination from NCCID, each Centre contributes to one or more areas where information needs remain:
|An evidence review on the effectiveness of school closures for the control of influenza balances the evidence with the feasibility and ethical implications of the measure.||will bring forward recommendations to inform emergency response procedures and prevention approaches during influenza outbreaks and pandemic circumstances.||will summarize the evidence on the effectiveness of non-pharmacological measures for prevention and control of influenza, tailoring fact sheets to particular public health audiences.|
COMMUNICATION AND MESSAGING
You may also be interested in an earlier NCCID project that focused on pandemic influenza. The pH1N1 project critically assessed research evidence and consolidated practice-based lessons learned from Canada’s experience of pH1N1. A series of evidence reviews were published, covering a wide range of topics in both human and animal health.
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