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MUSC Department of Public Health Sciences Working Papers

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Prospective surveillance of multivariate spatial disease data
Prospective surveillance of multivariate spatial disease data Abstract: Surveillance systems are often focused on more than one disease within a predefined area. On those occasions when outbreaks of disease are likely to be correlated, the use of multivariate surveillance techniques integrating information from multiple diseases allows us to improve the sensitivity and timeliness of outbreak detection. In this paper, we present an extension of the surveillance conditional predictive ordinate to monitor multivariate spatial disease data. The proposed surveillance technique, which is defined for each small area and time period as the conditional predictive distribution of those counts of disease higher than expected given the data observed up to the previous time period, alerts us to both small areas of increased disease incidence and the diseases causing the alarm within each area. We investigate its performance within the framework of Bayesian hierarchical Poisson models using a simulation study. An application to diseases of the respiratory system in South Carolina is finally presented. Keywords: disease surveillance; multiple diseases; Shared component model; conditional predictive ordinate