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Statistical methods for outbreak detection

Wednesday May 19th, 2010 at the Open University, in Milton Keynes, United Kingdom

Increasing use is being made of automated statistical detection of outbreaks of infectious diseases or syndromes associated with infections. In the UK, such systems include syndromic surveillance by NHS Direct and NHS24, laboratory-based surveillance by the Health Protection Agency (HPA), and mortality surveillance by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Automated outbreak detection systems are also in use or being developed in many other countries.

Statistical methods for outbreak detection, the 22nd rather-more-frequent-than-annual Open University statistics conference, focused on the statistical issues and methods relevant to such systems, including statistical detection methods, spatial surveillance, system evaluation, data completeness and quality, output and interpretation.

We gratefully acknowledge financial support from the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) and the Open University.

The conference included 10 invited talks. We also had poster presentations on relevant topics.

We would like to thank all participants for helping to make this meeting a resounding success.

Mr. Nick Andrews (Statistics Unit, Centre for Infections, Health Protection Agency, London)

Dr. David Conesa (Department of Statistics and Operations Research, University of Val�ncia)

Professor Peter J. Diggle (School of Health and Medicine, Lancaster University and Department of Biostatistics, Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland)

Dr. Alex Elliot (Real-time Syndromic Surveillance Team, Health Protection Agency West Midlands, Birmingham)

Professor Marianne Frisén (Statistical Research Unit, Department of Economics, University of Gothenburg)

Dr. Pia Hardelid (Statistics Unit, Centre for Infections, Health Protection Agency, London)

Professor Leonhard Held (Biostatistics Unit, Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine, University of Z�rich)

Dr. Michael Höhle (Department for Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Robert Koch Institute, Berlin)

Dr. Anette Hulth (Swedish Institute for Infectious Disease Control, Stockholm)

Professor Chris Robertson (Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Strathclyde University and Health Protection Scotland, Glasgow)

Titles, abstracts and slides for invited oral presentations as well as titles and abstracts for contributed posters can be found here.

We also hosted a two-day workshop following the conference.

Dr. Steffen Unkel (Department of Mathematics and Statistics, The Open University):
A review of statistical methods for the prospective detection of infectious disease outbreaks

Ms. Michaela Paul (Biostatistics Unit, Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine, University of Z�rich):
A Poisson autogregressive model for prospective outbreak detection

Dr. Suzie Seabroke (Pharmacoepidemiology Unit, Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency):
Detecting Drug Safety Signals from Spontaneously Reported Adverse Drug Reaction Data

Dr. Kimberley Kavanagh (Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Strathclyde):
Exception reporting of `influenza-like' syndromes in Scotland using NHS24 data

Dr. Claudia Wells (Office for National Statistics):
Mortality Statistics England & Wales

Mr. Neville Q. Verlander (Centre for Infections, Health Protection Agency, London):
An exception reporting system using NHS Direct

Dr. Adam Wagner (Cambridge Intellectual And Developmental Disabilities Research Group, University of Cambridge):
Addressing Serial Correlation in Exception Reporting Systems

Dr. Edward Wynne-Evans (Regional Epidemiology Unit, Health Protection Agency, London):
Revision of LabBase exceedance programme

Professor C. Paddy Farrington (Department of Mathematics and Statistics, The Open University):
Issues raised during the conference/workshop