Seminar Brendan McCabe, University of Liverpool

Brendan McCabe, Management School, University of Liverpool

"Attempting to Model the Timing, Severity and Duration of Seasonal Influenza"

WEDNESDAY 5/10/2016, 15:00
Postgraduate Studies Building, Evelpidon & Lefkados str, room 601, 6th floor


Seasonal influenza (flu) is a major cause of death among human populations and places great demands on health care resources and infrastructure. The eco- nomic costs of flu are also substantial. Potentially more destructive and costly are illnesses caused by new strains of the flu virus which have the potential to create worldwide pandemics. Hence influenza surveillance has been an impor- tant issue in public health practice and as a result significant efforts have been devoted to the development of statistical algorithms to monitor flu data. Unfor- tunately, new strains of flu virus appear regularly and hence the impact, severity and duration of the flu season varies year by year. Also worrying is the fact that the timing of the flu season varies; it may start as early as October or as late as February in the Northern Hemisphere. The objective of this talk is to explore the possibility of predicting the timing, severity and duration of seasonal flu in local areas in the hope that some form of preventative action may be possible to lessen the impact. The main methodological tools are probabilistic forecasts derived from models for low count but dependant time series data.