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  • Zhang 2019 Scientific Reports

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Patterns of human social contact and contact with animals in Shanghai, China

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  • Juanjuan Zhang
  • Petra Klepac
  • Jonathan Read
  • Alicia Rosello
  • Xiling Wang
  • Shengjie Lai
  • Meng Li
  • Yujian Song
  • Qingzhen Wei
  • Hao Jiang
  • Juan Yang
  • Henry Lynn
  • Stefan Flasche
  • Mark Jit
  • Hongjie Yu
Article number15141
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>22/10/2019
<mark>Journal</mark>Scientific Reports
Number of pages11
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


East Asia is as a principal hotspot for emerging zoonotic infections. Understanding the likely pathways for their emergence and spread requires knowledge on human-human and human-animal contacts, but such studies are rare. We used self-completed and interviewer-completed contact diaries to quantify patterns of these contacts for 965 individuals in 2017/2018 in a high-income densely-populated area of China, Shanghai City. Interviewer-completed diaries recorded more social contacts (19.3 vs. 18.0) and longer social contact duration (35.0 vs. 29.1 hours) than self-reporting. Strong age-assortativity
was observed in all age groups especially among young participants (aged 7–20) and middle aged participants (25–55 years). 17.7% of participants reported touching animals (15.3% (pets), 0.0% (poultry) and 0.1% (livestock)). Human-human contact was very frequent but contact with animals (especially poultry) was rare although associated with frequent human-human contact. Hence, this
densely populated area is more likely to act as an accelerator for human-human spread but less likely to be at the source of a zoonosis outbreak. We also propose that telephone interview at the end of reporting day is a potential improvement of the design of future contact surveys.