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CDC Quick Learn Lessons: How to create an EpiCurve

on Tue, 10/02/2012 - 02:46

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has created these Quick Learn Lessons for learners without an epidemiology background or those looking to refresh their skills.

As a good student, I did the excersise of the lesson on how to create an Epi Curve. See the result of the Epi Curve chart below.

The first case comes up on December 13, 2011. It was labelled as an outlier as it is more than 20 days apart from the rest of cases. Then starting on January 5th, five cases occured almost one per day, which is consider the epidemic period and the last case occurred on Janueary 20th, what it seems to be an outlier as it is 11 days apart from the previous case. It is also interesting to note from the list of cases that all are adult males in the range of 23-54 years old.

This Epi Curve was created with Tableau Desktop Public, a free fast and visual analytic tool from Tableau Software.

Postdate: 

Some days after the publication of this post, the Fungal Meningitis outbreak started in USA, so using the data from the Multistate Fungal Meningitis Outbreak Investigation conducted by the CDC, I applied the Epi Curve concepts, methodology and tool in a real outbreak. The results and data visualizatin are published in the post "Fungal Meningitis Outbreak in US, 2012

Your comments, recommendations and questions are welcome.

Best, 

Ramon

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