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A real-time surveillance method is developed with emphasis on rapid and accurate detection of emerging outbreaks. We develop a model with relatively weak assumptions regarding the latent processes generating the observed data, ensuring a robust prediction of the spatiotemporal incidence surface. Estimation occurs via a local linear fitting combined with day-of-week effects, where spatial smoothing is handled by a novel distance metric that adjusts for population density. Detection of emergingdoi:10.1111/j.1541-0420.2011.01585.x pmid:21418049 pmcid:PMC3698245 fatcat:yoz3iarnv5c3pg2ohmtno5fvva