Epidemic Prediction Initiative: Advancing Forecasting for Public Health – 11/2/2017

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Matthew Biggerstaff, ScD, MPH, Epidemiologist, Influenza Division, NCIRD, CDC
Michael Johansson, PhD, Biologist, Dengue Branch, NCEZID, CDC
Craig McGowan, MS, ORISE Fellow, Influenza Division, NCIRD, CDC


This webinar is part one of a two part webinar series entitled Infectious Disease Forecasting for Public Health Professionals. The webinar series will provide an introduction to forecasting methodologies, an overview of national initiatives to improve infectious disease forecasting for influenza and other infectious diseases, and important information for public health professionals to leverage forecasts to inform public health action.

CDC and other federal agencies have worked to improve infectious disease forecasting by organizing researchers, defining forecast targets, and hosting forecasting challenges. Results of these challenges have reinforced the difficulty of forecasting infectious disease outbreaks, but have also shown that “nowcast” accuracy is high and can improve situational awareness for responders. Moreover, ensemble forecasts consistently outperform forecasts based on historical data, indicating that forecasts provide additional information that could be useful to decision makers.

By the end of the webinar, participants will be able to:

  • Discuss challenges in infectious disease forecasting
  • Describe methods to determine forecast accuracy and precision
  • Describe forecasting projects of the Epidemic Prediction Initiative

Webinar Slides