Estimating reproduction numbers for adults and children from case data

K. Glass, G. N. Mercer, H. Nishiura, E. S. McBryde, N. G. Becker

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24 Citations (Scopus)


We present a method for estimating reproduction numbers for adults and children from daily onset data, using pandemic influenza A(H1N1) data as a case study. We investigate the impact of different underlying transmission assumptions on our estimates, and identify that asymmetric reproduction matrices are often appropriate. Under-reporting of cases can bias estimates of the reproduction numbers if reporting rates are not equal across the two age groups. However, we demonstrate that the estimate of the higher reproduction number is robust to disproportionate data-thinning. Applying the method to 2009 pandemic influenza H1N1 data from Japan, we demonstrate that the reproduction number for children was considerably higher than that of adults, and that our estimates are insensitive to our choice of reproduction matrix.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1248-1259
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of the Royal Society Interface
Issue number62
Publication statusPublished - 7 Sept 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Influenza
  • Outbreak data
  • Reproduction number
  • Type structure

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