We describe an early warning indicator for monitoring infectious diseases. The approach is illustrated with data from a major sheep pox epidemic, which occurred in the Evros prefecture of Greece, from August 2013 until the end of 2014. We present the epidemic data and identify factors affecting this major epidemic using a suitable methodological framework for the sequential analysis of such outbreaks. Environmental conditions and seasonality affect the spread of the epidemic: autumn seems to enhance disease occurrence and higher average temperatures facilitate disease spread. The on-line prediction of the disease potential is investigated through an early warning system that is based on the probability of the disease going extinct. The temporal stability of this indicator is extensively explored.
|Stochastic environmental research and risk assessment
|Early online date
|20 Sept 2016
|Published - 2017