Detection of Outbreak Signals Using R


The goal of adequate biosurveillance is to signal that an outbreak may be occurring and through subsequent work is confirmed or refuted. Such a system should be equally able to detect outbreaks of diseases of extremely low reporting frequency, or those with high seasonality. Methods of detecting increases in notifiable communicable diseases reported to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (MDHSS) were based on quartile comparisons to 5-year historical disease reports for the report week and resulted in frequent detection of statistically significant increases that were, in fact, not indicative of disease outbreaks. Frequently generated alerts led to 'alarm fatigue' in epidemiologists.


Develop a statistically rigorous automated process for weekly communicable disease report analysis to improve the speed and accuracy of outbreak detection in Missouri.

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Event/Publication Date: 
December, 2013

August 22, 2018

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The National Syndromic Surveillance Program (NSSP) is a collaboration among states and public health jurisdictions that contribute data to the BioSense Platform, public health practitioners who use local syndromic surveillance systems, Center for Disease Control and Prevention programs, other federal agencies, partner organizations, hospitals, healthcare professionals, and academic institutions.

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