When diseases begin to spread worldwide, they can be classified as a "pandemic". In 2009, a novel H1N1 strain of influenza virus rapidly spread around the world, infecting millions of people. Unfortunately, there was a lack of real-time data collection occurring during the pandemic, because there was no system to monitor the virus spreading on such a large scale.

Our ultimate goals were to be able to measure the spread of Influenza and other respiratory pathogens by creating a protocol that can be used in the future. Increasing pandemic preparedness will help us to battle new diseases and protect more lives. 

The National Institute of Health (NIH) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reached out to us in 2009 to use our PICFLU network to track the H1N1 pandemic. We used our resources and sites across the country to create a surveillance system that could report cases of Influenza in a faster and more organized way.

 This study found that during the 2009 epidemic, children who were immunocompromised and suffered from neurologic conditions were at a high risk of dying from the flu. We also discovered that children who had the flu and were also infected with the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus were at much higher risk of dying.

"Critically Ill Children During the 2009-2010 Influenza Pandemic in the United States", published in Pediatrics (2011)

We would like to thank the following organizations for providing funding and/or expertise for this project: