Characteristics of human encounters and social mixing patterns relevant to infectious diseases spread by close contact: a survey in Southwest Uganda.

le Polain de Waroux O Cohuet S Ndazima D Kucharski AJ Juan-Giner A Flasche S Tumwesigye E Arinaitwe R Mwanga-Amumpaire J Boum Y Nackers F Checchi F Grais RF Edmunds WJ
BMC infectious diseases 2018 04 11; 18(1); 172. doi: 10.1186/s12879-018-3073-1. Epub 2018 04 11
Close contact transmission Infectious diseases Social contact Survey Uganda


BACKGROUND: Quantification of human interactions relevant to infectious disease transmission through social contact is central to predict disease dynamics, yet data from low-resource settings remain scarce.

METHODS: We undertook a social contact survey in rural Uganda, whereby participants were asked to recall details about the frequency, type, and socio-demographic characteristics of any conversational encounter that lasted for ≥5 min (henceforth defined as 'contacts') during the previous day. An estimate of the number of 'casual contacts' (i.e.

RESULTS: In total, 566 individuals were included in the study. On average participants reported having routine contact with 7.2 individuals (range 1-25). Children aged 5-14 years had the highest frequency of contacts and the elderly (≥65 years) the fewest (P 

CONCLUSION: Our study provides detailed information on contact patterns and their spatial characteristics in an African setting. It therefore fills an important knowledge gap that will help more accurately predict transmission dynamics and the impact of control strategies in such areas.