Modeling Influenza-Like Illness Activity in the United States

Laslo Bollmann, Matthias Scherer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Influenza causes yearly costs for hospitalization and outpatient visits of more than $10 billion in the United States. The prediction of influenza epidemics is thus relevant for health insurance providers and public health facilities, among others. A useful piece of information is the probability distribution of influenza epidemics occurring within a given time horizon of one or two years. We present a model that delivers confidence intervals for future influenza activity in different regions in the United States. The model takes into account the specific statistical characteristics of influenza activity such as volatility clusters, seasonal effects, and dependencies between different regions. Confidence intervals for the regions are obtained using ARMA-GARCH models, and regional dependencies are captured by a pair-copula construction, describing jointly the residuals of the ARMA-GARCH models. Our model allows us to simulate influenza activity over a future time horizon.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)323-342
Number of pages20
JournalNorth American Actuarial Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - 3 Jul 2017


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