We are studying the transmission of influenza in an army barracks, using RFID tagging technology to measure high-resolution contact patterns between recruits.

The transmission of influenza and other respiratory infections is influenced by social interactions and contact patterns between infectious and susceptible individuals. A number of methods have been developed to measure contacts between individuals, but traditionally these patterns have been difficult to quantify accurately and objectively. In this study, we are investigating how social interactions among recruits in an army barracks influence the spread of respiratory infections. We are measuring contact patterns  between individuals using wearable sensors that use radio frequency identification technology to record high-resolution, objective contacts based on proximity. We will use this information to quantify contact patterns in this population and relate these contact patterns to influenza transmission using information on episodes of virologically-confirmed influenza infection from ongoing surveillance of acute respiratory infections.


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