A Bayesian outbreak detection method for influenza-like illness

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Epidemic outbreak detection is an important problem in public health and the development of reliable methods for outbreak detection remains an active research area. In this paper we introduce a Bayesian method to detect outbreaks of influenza-like illness from surveillance data. The rationale is that, during the early phase of the outbreak, surveillance data changes from autoregressive dynamics to a regime of exponential growth. Our method uses Bayesian model selection and Bayesian regression to identify the breakpoint. No free parameters need to be tuned. However, historical information regarding influenza-like illnesses needs to be incorporated into the model. In order to show and discuss the performance of our method we analyze synthetic, seasonal, and pandemic outbreak data.




García, Y. E., Christen, J. A., & Capistrán, M. A. (2015). A Bayesian outbreak detection method for influenza-like illness. BioMed Research International, 2015. https://doi.org/10.1155/2015/751738

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