“Is it a bad flu season?” PISA was developed to assist countries in answering this question because influenza epidemics and pandemics vary in severity. Knowing how severe an influenza season is can help countries respond, adapt control measures and prepare for a pandemic. This course introduces the concept of influenza severity assessment and covers its required steps, from choosing data to using, reporting and communicating severity estimates. The target audience of this course is public health professionals at the national level who perform, or plan to perform, national influenza severity assessments and who can contribute to global influenza severity assessments. The employers and employees of these public health officers would also benefit from this course, as would any other public health professional working on influenza epidemiology. For more information, please follow this link to the [WHO PISA website][1]. [1]: http://www.who.int/influenza/surveillance_monitoring/pisa/en/
Self-paced
Language: English
Advanced (Avancé)

Course information


Overview: The Pandemic Influenza Severity Assessment (PISA) tool is a framework for using existing influenza surveillance data to determine a qualitative judgment on the severity of a current influenza epidemic or pandemic in comparison to past epidemics and pandemics. In this context, severity refers to how many people are infected with the influenza virus, how sick the infected people are and the effect of the epidemic or pandemic on the healthcare system and society. The tool is intended to be used at the national level so that each country can describe the epidemiological situation in-country and adjust their response measures. Country severity assessments will contribute to a WHO global situational analysis and inform global decisions and recommendations. The target audience for this training course is public health professionals at the national level who perform, or plan to perform, national influenza severity assessments and who can contribute to global influenza severity assessments. The employer and employees of these public health officers would also benefit from this learning module, as would any other public health professional working on influenza epidemiology.

The purpose of the first module of this course is to introduce the concept of influenza severity assessment to those not familiar with it and to pique interest in the tool so that potential users will want to learn more about its use and application. In-depth training modules on the PISA methods and their application are planned for later this year.

Learning objectives: By the end of this course, participants should understand:

  • why assessing influenza severity is important;
  • when and how to assess influenza severity;
  • how to communicate severity assessment findings; and
  • how to contribute to a global influenza severity assessment.

Course duration: Approximately 5 hours.

Certificates: No certificate available at this time.

Course contents


  • PISA Module A: Introduction to Pandemic Influenza Severity Assessment (PISA):

    This is the first in a series of learning modules on the WHO framework for assessing the overall severity of an influenza epidemic or pandemic. It introduces the concept of influenza severity assessment to those that may not be familiar with it.
  • PISA Module B: Methods:

    This is the second in a series of learning modules on the WHO framework for assessing the overall severity of an influenza epidemic or pandemic.This module presents the basic methodology used in conducting an influenza severity assessment. Subsequent modules will go into further detail on doing assessments of the three indicators used in PISA.
  • PISA Module C: Transmissibility indicator:

    This is the third in a series of learning modules on the WHO framework for assessing the overall severity of an influenza epidemic or pandemic.This module is about assessing the transmissibility indicator in an influenza severity assessment. We will cover in detail the data sources and parameters to consider for the transmissibility indicator. Threshold setting methods will be reviewed. Lastly, some examples and considerations will be presented. Subsequent modules will go into further detail on doing assessments of the other indicators used in PISA and on communicating and reporting the findings.
  • PISA Module D: Impact indicator:

    This is the fourth in a series of learning modules on the WHO framework for assessing the overall severity of an influenza epidemic or pandemic.This module is about assessing the impact indicator in an influenza severity assessment. We will cover in detail the data sources and parameters to consider for the impact indicator. Threshold setting methods will be reviewed. Lastly, some examples and considerations will be presented. Subsequent modules will go into further detail on doing assessments of the other indicators used in PISA and on communicating and reporting the findings.
  • PISA Module E: Seriousness of disease indicator:

    COMING SOON: This is the fifth in a series of learning modules on the WHO framework for assessing the overall severity of an influenza epidemic or pandemic. This module is about assessing the seriousness of disease indicator in an influenza severity assessment. We will cover in detail the data sources and parameters to consider for the seriousness of disease indicator. Threshold setting methods will be reviewed. Lastly, some examples and considerations will be presented. Subsequent modules will go into further detail on reporting and communicating the findings.
  • PISA Module F: Reporting PISA estimates:

    COMING SOON: This is the sixth in a series of learning modules on the WHO framework for assessing the overall severity of an influenza epidemic or pandemic. This module presents information on why, what and how to report national level PISA estimates to WHO at the global level.
  • PISA Module G: Communicating PISA estimates:

    COMING SOON: This is the seventh in a series of learning modules on the WHO framework for assessing the overall severity of an influenza epidemic or pandemic. It covers topics related to communicating your PISA estimates to policy-makers, the public and other stakeholders.

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If you would like to enroll for this course, there are no formal prerequisites or limitations. The course is free and open for everyone. Just register for an account on OpenWHO and go for the course!

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