PLoS One

. 2020 Aug 6;15(8):e0236455.
doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0236455. eCollection 2020.
The impact of opening dedicated clinics on disease transmission during an influenza pandemic

Pengyi Shi 1 , Jia Yan 2 , Pinar Keskinocak 2 , Andi L Shane 3 , Julie L Swann 4



Dedicated clinics can be established in an influenza pandemic to isolate people and potentially reduce opportunities for influenza transmission. However, their operation requires resources and their existence may attract the worried-well. In this study, we quantify the impact of opening dedicated influenza clinics during a pandemic based on an agent-based simulation model across a time-varying social network of households, workplaces, schools, community locations, and health facilities in the state of Georgia. We calculate performance measures, including peak prevalence and total attack rate, while accounting for clinic operations, including timing and location. We find that opening clinics can reduce disease spread and hospitalizations even when visited by the worried-well, open for limited weeks, or open in limited locations, and especially when the clinics are in operation during times of highest prevalence. Specifically, peak prevalence, total attack rate, and hospitalization reduced 0.07-0.32%, 0.40-1.51%, 0.02-0.09%, respectively, by operating clinics for the pandemic duration.