Disease Scares: Predicting and Preparing for Outbreaks

Sunday, February 17, 2013
Room 208 (Hynes Convention Center)
Bill Hanage , Harvard School of Public Health, Cambridge, MA
There is demand from policy makers and the public to be able to plan ahead for disease scares such as vCJD, SARS and H1N1. How do we assess different stages of an outbreak? Why are some outbreaks easier to predict than others? The recent backlash against expenditure on unused swine ‘flu vaccines has raised questions about how society can prepare for uncertain pandemics. We must be able to communicate the inevitable uncertainty of these predictions but also our level of confidence in them.