Intra-Weekly Variations of Influenza-Like Illness in Military Populations.


In this report, we describe and analyze a periodic pattern in influenza-like illness within active military populations, derived from the Defense Medical Surveillance System data set. We find that there is a well-defined pattern with peak incidence on Monday, decaying to Friday, and remaining roughly constant over the weekend. Moreover, we find that the pattern systematically changes in response to public holidays. We quantitatively describe the effect of this modulation, and show how these results may be used to detrend military and, by extension, civilian data sets. As medical data streams become more timely, these results may be used to infer near-real-time daily estimates of influenza-like illness incidence, which may form the basis of a forecasting tool for imminent outbreaks.

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