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Ben Cowling

Estimating the incubation distribution of an infectious disease


Accurate and precise estimates of the incubation distribution of novel, emerging infectious diseases are vital to inform public health policy decisions. Alternative methods of estimating the incubation distribution are discussed, allowing for interval-censored exposure times. The methods are illustrated using data on 149 and 168 patients infected with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in Hong Kong and Toronto, respectively. Finally, regression models are used to investigate the influence of various factors on the incubation period of SARS, and important heterogeneities are discussed.