Delphi Epidata R client

License: MIT Github Actions codecov

The Delphi Epidata API provides real-time access to epidemiological surveillance data for influenza, COVID-19, and other diseases for the USA at various geographical resolutions, both from official government sources such as the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google Trends and private partners such as Facebook and Change Healthcare. It is built and maintained by the Carnegie Mellon University Delphi research group.

This package is designed to streamline the downloading and usage of data from the Delphi Epidata API. It provides a simple R interface to the API, including functions for downloading data, parsing the results, and converting the data into a tidy format. The API stores a historical record of all data, including corrections and updates, which is particularly useful for accurately backtesting forecasting models. We also provide packages for downstream data processing (epiprocess) and modeling (epipredict).


# Obtain the smoothed covid-like illness (CLI) signal from the Facebook survey as it was on April 10, 2021 for the US
epidata <- pub_covidcast(
  source = "fb-survey",
  signals = "smoothed_cli",
  geo_type = "nation",
  time_type = "day",
  geo_values = "us",
  time_values = epirange(20210101, 20210601),
  as_of = "2021-06-01"
# A tibble: 6 × 15
  geo_value signal       source   geo_type time_type time_value
  <chr>     <chr>        <chr>    <fct>    <fct>     <date>
1 us        smoothed_cli fb-surv… nation   day       2021-04-05
2 us        smoothed_cli fb-surv… nation   day       2021-04-06
3 us        smoothed_cli fb-surv… nation   day       2021-04-07
4 us        smoothed_cli fb-surv… nation   day       2021-04-08
5 us        smoothed_cli fb-surv… nation   day       2021-04-09
6 us        smoothed_cli fb-surv… nation   day       2021-04-10
# ℹ 9 more variables: direction <dbl>, issue <date>,
#   lag <int>, missing_value <int>, missing_stderr <int>,
#   missing_sample_size <int>, value <dbl>, stderr <dbl>,
#   sample_size <dbl>
# Plot this data
ggplot(epidata, aes(x = time_value, y = value)) +
  geom_line() +
  labs(title = "Smoothed CLI from Facebook Survey",
       subtitle = "US, 2021",
       x = "Date",
       y = "CLI")
Smoothed CLI from Facebook Survey


Install from GitHub:

# Install the dev version using `pak` or `remotes`

CRAN version coming soon.

API Keys

The Delphi API requires a (free) API key for full functionality. To generate your key, register for a pseudo-anonymous account here and see more discussion on the general API website. The epidatr client will automatically look for this key in the R option delphi.epidata.key or in the environment variable DELPHI_EPIDATA_KEY. We recommend storing your key in .Renviron file, which R will read by default.

Note that for the time being, the private endpoints (i.e. those prefixed with pvt) will require a separate key that needs to be passed as an argument.

Get updates

You should consider subscribing to the API mailing list to be notified of package updates, new data sources, corrections, and other updates.

For users of the covidcast R package

The epidatr package is a complete rewrite of the covidcast package, with a focus on speed, reliability, and ease of use. The covidcast package is deprecated and will no longer be updated.