We formulate a stochastic, spatial, discrete-time model of viral “Susceptible, Exposed, Infectious, Recovered” animal epidemics and apply it to an avian influenza epidemic in Pennsylvania in 1983–84. Using weekly data for the number of newly infectious cases collected during the epidemic, we find estimates for the latent period of the virus and the values of two parameters within the transmission kernel of the model. These data are then jackknifed on a progressive weekly basis to show how our estimates can be applied to an ongoing epidemic to generate continually improving values of certain epidemic parameters.
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Vol. 55 • No. 1