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Statistical studies of infectious disease incidence

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Methods for the analysis of data on the incidence of an infectious disease are reviewed, with an emphasis on important objectives that such analyses should address and identifying areas where further work is required. Recent statistical work has adapted methods for constructing estimating functions from martingale theory, methods of data augmentation and methods developed for studying the human immunodeficiency virus–acquired immune deficiency syndrome epidemic. Infectious disease data seem particularly suited to analysis by Markov chain Monte Carlo methods. Epidemic modellers have recently made substantial progress in allowing for community structure and heterogeneity among individuals when studying the requirements for preventing major epidemics. This has stimulated interest in making statistical inferences about crucial parameters from infectious disease data for such community settings.

Keywords: Control of disease; Data augmentation; Epidemic data; Epidemics in structured communities; Heterogeneous individuals; Immunity coverage; Incomplete data; Infectivity function; Martingale estimating function; Vaccination coverage; Vaccine efficacy

Document Type: Original Article


Affiliations: 1: La Trobe University, Bundoora, Australia, 2: Uppsala University, Sweden

Publication date: April 1, 1999


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