A Bayesian outbreak detection method for influenza-like illness

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Abstract

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.

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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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