A hypothesis test for the end of a common source outbreak

Ron Brookmeyer, Xiaojun You

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The objective of this article is to develop a hypothesis-testing procedure to determine whether a common source outbreak has ended. We consider the case when neither the calendar date of exposure to the pathogen nor the exact incubation period distribution is known. The hypothesis-testing procedure is based on the spacings between ordered calendar dates of disease onset of the cases. A simulation study was performed to evaluate the robustness of the methods to various models for the incubation period of infectious diseases. We investigated the impact of multiple testing on the overall outbreak-wise type I error probability. We derive expressions for the outbreak-wise type I error probability and show that multiple testing has minimal effect on inflating that error probability. The results are discussed in the context of the 2001 U.S. anthrax outbreak.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)61-65
Number of pages5
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Epidemic
  • Hypothesis test
  • Infectious disease
  • Spacing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Applied Mathematics


Dive into the research topics of 'A hypothesis test for the end of a common source outbreak'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this