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A note on the estimation of the initial number of susceptible individuals in the general epidemic model. (English) Zbl 1041.62089

Summary: Traditional inference for epidemic models depends on knowledge of the initial number of susceptible individuals. However, this may be difficult to obtain in practice. We show that it is possible to use data from a major epidemic to estimate the number of individuals initially susceptible to a disease and an approximate asymptotic variance is derived. The results are confirmed in simulations of major epidemics. An application to a data set on smallpox is given.

MSC:

62P10 Applications of statistics to biology and medical sciences; meta analysis
92D30 Epidemiology
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