Optimal sequential management decisions for measles outbreaks

Optimal sequential management of disease outbreaks has been shown to dramatically improve the realized outbreak costs when the number of newly infected and recovered individuals is assumed to be known (1,2). This assumption has been relaxed so that infected and recovered individuals are sampled and therefore the rate of information gain about the infectiousness and morbidity of a particular outbreak is proportional to the sampling rate (3). We study the effect of no recovered sampling and signal delay, features common to surveillance systems, on the costs associated with an outbreak.

May 02, 2019

Ten Years After Amerithrax: Have Improvements to Our Bioterrorism and Influenza Surveillance Networks Enhanced Our Preparedness?

The use of syndromic surveillance systems by state and local health departments for the detection of bioterrorist events and emerging infections has greatly increased since 2001. While these systems have proven useful for tracking influenza and identifying large outbreaks, the value of these systems in the early detection of bioterrorism events has been under constant evaluation [3,4].


May 02, 2019

Inferring Travel from Social Media

The spread of infectious diseases is facilitated by human travel. Infectious diseases are often introduced into a population by travelers and then spread among susceptible individuals. Likewise uninfected susceptible travelers can move into populations sustaining the spread of an infectious disease.

May 02, 2019

A spatio-temporal absorbing state model for disease and syndromic surveillance

The goal of disease and syndromic surveillance is to monitor and detect aberrations in disease prevalence across space and time. Disease surveillance typically refers to the monitoring of confirmed cases of disease, whereas syndromic surveillance uses syndromes associated with disease to detect aberrations.

June 07, 2019

Detection of multiple overlapping anomalous clusters in categorical data

Syndromic surveillance typically involves collecting time-stamped transactional data, such as patient triage or examination records or pharmacy sales. Such records usually span multiple categorical features, such as location, age group, gender, symptoms, chief complaints, drug category and so on. The key analytic objective to identify potential disease clusters in such data observed recently (for example during last one week) as compared with baseline (for example derived from data observed over previous few months).

June 14, 2019

Evaluating the performance of two alternative geographic surveillance schemes

Influenza-like illness (ILI) data is collected by an Influenza Sentinel Provider Surveillance Network at the state (Iowa, USA) level. Historically, the Iowa Department of Public Health has maintained 19 different influenza sentinel surveillance sites.

June 17, 2019

SAGES: a suite of freely available software tools for electronic disease surveillance in resource-limited settings

Emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases are a serious threat to global public health. The World Health Organization (WHO) has identified more than 1100 epidemic events worldwide in the last 5 years alone. Recently, the emergence of the novel 2009 influenza A (H1N1) virus and the SARS coronavirus has demonstrated how rapidly pathogens can spread worldwide. This infectious disease threat, combined with a concern over man-made biological or chemical events, spurred WHO to update their International Health Regulations (IHR) in 2005.

June 24, 2019

Implementation and Comparison of Preprocessing Methods for Biosurveillance Data

Modern biosurveillance relies on multiple sources of both prediagnostic and diagnostic data, updated daily, to discover disease outbreaks. Intrinsic to this effort are two assumptions: (1) the data being analyzed contain early indicators of a disease outbreak and (2) the outbreaks to be detected are not known a priori. However, in addition to outbreak indicators, syndromic data streams include such factors as day-of-week effects, seasonal effects, autocorrelation, and global trends.

July 30, 2018

State Surveillance Data Improves a Clinical Prediction Model for Pertussis

Bordetella Pertussis outbreaks cause morbidity in all age groups, but the infection is most dangerous for young infants. Pertussis is difficult to diagnose, especially in its early stages, and definitive test results are not available for several days. Because of temporal and geographic variability of pertussis outbreaks, delay in diagnostic test results and ramifications of incorrect management decisions at the point of care, pertussis represents a prototypical disease where realtime public health surveillance data might inform, guide and improve medical decision making.

July 30, 2018

Incorporating Geographical Contacts into Social Network Analysis for Contact Tracing in Epidemiology: A Study on Taiwan SARS Data

In epidemiology, contact tracing is a process to control the spread of an infectious disease and identify individuals who were previously exposed to patients with the disease. After the emergence of AIDS, SNA was demonstrated to be a good supplementary tool for contact tracing [1]. Traditionally, social networks for disease investigation are constructed only with personal contacts since personal contacts are the most identifiable paths for disease transmission.

July 30, 2018


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