A simple approach to measure transmissibility and forecast incidence

File Description SizeFormat 
SI.1.pdfSupporting information55.33 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
SI.2.pdfSupporting information54.38 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
1-s2.0-S1755436517300245-main.pdfPublished version1.41 MBAdobe PDFView/Open
Title: A simple approach to measure transmissibility and forecast incidence
Authors: Nouvellet, P
Cori, A
Garske, T
Blake, IM
Dorigatti, I
Hinsley, W
Jombart, T
Mills, HL
Nedjati-Gilani, G
Van Kerkhove, MD
Fraser, C
Donnelly, CA
Ferguson, NM
Riley, S
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: Outbreaks of novel pathogens such as SARS, pandemic influenza and Ebola require substantial investments in reactive interventions, with consequent implementation plans sometimes revised on a weekly basis. Therefore, short-term forecasts of incidence are often of high priority. In light of the recent Ebola epidemic in West Africa, a forecasting exercise was convened by a network of infectious disease modellers. The challenge was to forecast unseen “future” simulated data for four different scenarios at five different time points. In a similar method to that used during the recent Ebola epidemic, we estimated current levels of transmissibility, over variable time-windows chosen in an ad hoc way. Current estimated transmissibility was then used to forecast near-future incidence. We performed well within the challenge and often produced accurate forecasts. A retrospective analysis showed that our subjective method for deciding on the window of time with which to estimate transmissibility often resulted in the optimal choice. However, when near-future trends deviated substantially from exponential patterns, the accuracy of our forecasts was reduced. This exercise highlights the urgent need for infectious disease modellers to develop more robust descriptions of processes – other than the widespread depletion of susceptible individuals – that produce non-exponential patterns of incidence.
Issue Date: 24-Feb-2017
Date of Acceptance: 17-Feb-2017
ISSN: 1755-4365
Publisher: Elsevier
Start Page: 29
End Page: 35
Journal / Book Title: Epidemics
Volume: 22
Copyright Statement: © 2017 Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (
Sponsor/Funder: Wellcome Trust
Medical Research Council (MRC)
Medical Research Council (MRC)
National Institute for Health Research
National Institute for Health Research
National Institutes of Health
Wellcome Trust
Wellcome Trust
Funder's Grant Number: 093488/Z/10/Z
Keywords: Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Infectious Diseases
Rapid response
Branching process
Renewal equation
1103 Clinical Sciences
1117 Public Health And Health Services
Publication Status: Published
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Medicine
Epidemiology, Public Health and Primary Care

Items in DSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.

Creative Commonsx