Networks of face-to-face social contacts in Niakhar, Senegal.


We present the first analysis of face-to-face contact network data from Niakhar, Senegal. Participants in a cluster-randomized influenza vaccine trial were interviewed about their contact patterns when they reported symptoms during their weekly household surveillance visit. We employ a negative binomial model to estimate effects of covariates on contact degree. We estimate the mean contact degree for asymptomatic Niakhar residents to be 16.5 (95% C.I. 14.3, 18.7) in the morning and 14.8 in the afternoon (95% C.I. 12.7, 16.9). We estimate that symptomatic people make 10% fewer contacts than asymptomatic people (95% C.I. 5%, 16%; p = 0.006), and those aged 0-5 make 33% fewer contacts than adults (95% C.I. 29%, 37%; p < 0.001). By explicitly modelling the partial rounding pattern observed in our data, we make inference for both the underlying (true) distribution of contacts as well as for the reported distribution. We created an estimator for homophily by compound (household) membership and estimate that 48% of contacts by symptomatic people are made to their own compound members in the morning (95% CI, 45%, 52%) and 60% in the afternoon/evening (95% CI, 56%, 64%). We did not find a significant effect of symptom status on compound homophily. We compare our findings to those from other countries and make design recommendations for future surveys.

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