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A note on the estimation of the initial number of susceptible individuals in the general epidemic model

Author

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  • Huggins, Richard M.
  • Yip, Paul S. F.
  • Lau, Eric H. Y.

Abstract

Traditional inference for epidemic models depends on knowledge of the initial number of susceptible individuals. However, this may be difficult to obtain in practice. In this short note we show that it is possible to use data from a major epidemic to estimate the number of individuals initially susceptible to a disease and an approximate asymptotic variance is derived. The results are confirmed in simulations of major epidemics. An application to a data set on smallpox is given.

Suggested Citation

  • Huggins, Richard M. & Yip, Paul S. F. & Lau, Eric H. Y., 2004. "A note on the estimation of the initial number of susceptible individuals in the general epidemic model," Statistics & Probability Letters, Elsevier, vol. 67(4), pages 321-330, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:stapro:v:67:y:2004:i:4:p:321-330
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    Cited by:

    1. Kypraios, Theodore, 2009. "A note on maximum likelihood estimation of the initial number of susceptibles in the general stochastic epidemic model," Statistics & Probability Letters, Elsevier, vol. 79(18), pages 1972-1976, September.
    2. Eric H. Y. Lau & Paul S. F. Yip, 2008. "Estimating the Basic Reproductive Number in the General Epidemic Model with an Unknown Initial Number of Susceptible Individuals," Scandinavian Journal of Statistics, Danish Society for Theoretical Statistics;Finnish Statistical Society;Norwegian Statistical Association;Swedish Statistical Association, vol. 35(4), pages 650-663.

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