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Development of a Supervised Learning Algorithm for Detection of Potential Disease Reemergence: A Proof of Concept.

Abstract

Infectious disease reemergence is an important yet ambiguous concept that lacks a quantitative definition. Currently, reemergence is identified without specific criteria describing what constitutes a reemergent event. This practice affects reproducible assessments of high-consequence public health events and disease response prioritization. This in turn can lead to misallocation of resources. More important, early recognition of reemergence facilitates effective mitigation. We used a supervised machine learning approach to detect potential disease reemergence. We demonstrate the feasibility of applying a machine learning classifier to identify reemergence events in a systematic way for 4 different infectious diseases. The algorithm is applicable to temporal trends of disease incidence and includes disease-specific features to identify potential reemergence. Through this study, we offer a structured means of identifying potential reemergence using a data-driven approach.

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