A Bayesian system to detect and characterize overlapping outbreaks
We describe an automated system that can detect multiple outbreaks of infectious diseases from emergency department reports. A case detection system1 obtains data from electronic medical records, extracts features using natural language processing, then infers a probability distribution over the diseases each patient may have. Then, a multiple outbreak detection system (MODS) searches for models of multiple outbreaks to explain the data. MODS detects outbreaks of influenza and non-influenza influenza-like illnesses (NI-ILI).