Yang K, Xie J, Xie R, Pan Y, Liu R, Chen P. Real-Time Forecast of Influenza Outbreak Using Dynamic Network Marker Based on Minimum Spanning Tree. Biomed Res Int. 2020 Oct 1;2020:7351398
The influenza pandemic is a wide-ranging threat to people´s health and property all over the world. Developing effective strategies for predicting the influenza outbreak which may prevent or at least get ready for a new influenza pandemic is now a top global public health priority. Owing to the complexity of influenza outbreaks that are usually involved with spatial and temporal characteristics of both biological and social systems, however, it is a challenging task to achieve the real-time monitoring of influenza outbreaks. In this study, by exploring the rich dynamical information of the city network during influenza outbreaks, we developed a computational method, the minimum-spanning-tree-based dynamical network marker (MST-DNM), to identify the tipping point or critical stage prior to the influenza outbreak. With historical records of influenza outpatients between 2009 and 2018, the MST-DNM strategy has been validated by accurate predictions of the influenza outbreaks in three Japanese cities/regions, respectively, i.e., Tokyo, Osaka, and Hokkaido. These successful applications show that the early-warning signal was detected 4 weeks on average ahead of each influenza outbreak. The results show that our method is of considerable potential in the practice of public health surveillance.
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