Disentangling reporting and disease transmission

Second order statistics such as variance and autocorrelation can in principle provide early warning of disease (re-)emergence. Such statistics can detect the approach to an epidemic threshold, a point beyond which a major outbreak (or epidemic) becomes possible. However, changes in disease reporting probabilities can produce the same¬†trends in the early warning¬†statistics as changes in […]

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Anticipating Outbreaks with Imperfect Data

Anticipating disease emergence is a challenge with clear public health ramifications. Theoretical studies have already demonstrated that epidemic transitions are in principle preceded by detectable temporal trends in statistics (early-warning signals). We investigated the robustness of these early-warning signals under simulated realistic disease reporting scenarios, testing the effects of case reporting error, reporting probability, and […]

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Whooping cough re-emergence

Whooping cough has re-emerged in many places where it was previously eliminated, including California and the United Kingdom. Exactly why this happened isn’t clear, and it hasn’t happened everywhere. The re-emergence of previously eliminated “childhood” infections like whooping cough in places where vaccines are in wide use is one of the main motivations for this […]

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