One of the main concerns of Public Health surveillance is the detection of clusters of disease, i. e., the presence of high incidence rates around a particular location, which usually means a higher risk of suffering from the disease under study (Aylin et al. 1999). Many methods have been proposed for cluster detection, ranging from visual inspection of disease maps to full Bayesian models analysed using MCMC. In this paper we describe the use and implementation, as a package for the R programming language, of several methods which have been widely used in the literature, such as Openshaw’s GAM, Stone’s test and others. Although some of the statistics involved in these methods have an asymptotical distribution, bootstrap will be used to estimate their actual sampling distributions.
KeywordsSpatial statistics Epidemiology Disease cluster detection R programming language
JEL ClassificationC60 C88
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