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Survival dynamical systems: individual-level survival analysis from population-level epidemic models.

Abstract

In this paper, we show that solutions to ordinary differential equations describing the large-population limits of Markovian stochastic epidemic models can be interpreted as survival or cumulative hazard functions when analysing data on individuals sampled from the population. We refer to the individual-level survival and hazard functions derived from population-level equations as a survival dynamical system (SDS). To illustrate how population-level dynamics imply probability laws for individual-level infection and recovery times that can be used for statistical inference, we show numerical examples based on synthetic data. In these examples, we show that an SDS analysis compares favourably with a complete-data maximum-likelihood analysis. Finally, we use the SDS approach to analyse data from a 2009 influenza A(H1N1) outbreak at Washington State University.

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