Discussion paper // Sonderforschungsbereich 386 der Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München 395
We describe a stochastic model based on a branching process for analyzing surveillance data of infectious diseases that allows to make forecasts of the future development of the epidemic. The model is based on a Poisson branching process with immigration with additional adjustment for possible overdispersion. An extension to a longitudinal model for the multivariate case is described. The model is estimated in a Bayesian context using Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) techniques. We illustrate the applicability of the model through analyses of simulated and real data.