The distribution of incubation periods of infectious disease. Commentary.
Several years ago, in reference to the paper that is being reprinted in this issue of the Journal, Dr.
Philip Sartwell wrote, « I believe this paper has been mentioned in bibliographies more often than anything [else] I have done. » The paper, which was published in 1950 (1), is the first of three papers that Sartwell wrote and published on incubation periods (1-3).
In this first paper, he explained that the lognormal model fitted a variety of observations of the incubation periods of several infectious diseases.
From a review of empirical data, he defined two parameters with which to characterize the distribution : the median incubation period as a measure of central tendency-a better estimate than the arithmetic mean-and the dispersion factor as a measure of variability.
The paper further highlighted, with a number of examples, various uses of the incubation period.
Since the publication of this paper by Sartwell, the lognormal model has been used to study the incubation periods of a number of infectious and noninfectious diseases (4).
The first application of the model to the study of the incubation periods of noninfectious diseases was a study of the latency of neoplastic diseases (5).
The model has been used more recently to study the incubation periods of drug-induced diseases (6), genetic diseases (7), Reye's syndrome (4), and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (8).
Mots-clés Pascal : Incubation, Intervalle temps, Infection, Homme, Méthode mesure, Analyse statistique, Fonction logarithmique
Mots-clés Pascal anglais : Incubation, Time interval, Infection, Human, Measurement method, Statistical analysis, Logarithmic function
Notice produite par :
Inist-CNRS - Institut de l'Information Scientifique et Technique
Cote : 95-0221719
Code Inist : 002B05A03. Création : 09/06/1995.