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Close encounters of the infectious kind: methods to measure social mixing behaviour

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  • J. M. Read
  • W. J. Edmunds
  • S. Riley
  • J. Lessler
  • D. A. T. Cummings
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>12/2012
<mark>Journal</mark>Epidemiology and Infection
Issue number12
Number of pages14
Pages (from-to)2117-2130
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date12/06/12
<mark>Original language</mark>English


A central tenet of close-contact or respiratory infection epidemiology is that infection patterns within human populations are related to underlying patterns of social interaction. Until recently, few researchers had attempted to quantify potentially infectious encounters made between people. Now, however, several studies have quantified social mixing behaviour, using a variety of methods. Here, we review the methodologies employed, suggest other appropriate methods and technologies, and outline future research challenges for this rapidly advancing field of research.