Scaling properties of epidemiological time series

A. Harnos, J. Reiczigel, F. Rubel, N. Solymosi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)


The statistical analysis monthly Hungarian (1967-2001) and Austrian (1989-2003) rabies and Hungarian bovine tuberculosis (1950-1979) cases were statistically analyzed. There were eradication campaigns against both diseases, which gave us the unique opportunity to observe how the statistical properties of the time series changed due to the eradication program. The fluctuations around the trend were got by removing the 12 month moving averages from the time series. In order to characterize the structure of the contacts among the individuals exposed to the diseases and the underlying processes governing the behavior of the epidemics, the fluctuations were analyzed before and after eradication separately. It turned out that the tails of the complementary cumulative distribution functions differ in the rabies cases, and do not differ in the case of tuberculosis. In each case the tail of the distribution follows an Inverse Power Law (IPL) function and describes the distribution of extreme events. It is possible to make conclusions about the dimensions of the processes from the fitted exponents. These dimensions are not related necessarily to the spatial dimensions, but to the possible connections. The knowledge about the distributions give us the opportunity to asses the risk of epidemic outbreaks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-158
Number of pages8
JournalApplied Ecology and Environmental Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2006


  • Epidemiology
  • IPL distribution
  • Immunization
  • Rabies
  • Time series analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Agronomy and Crop Science

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