Household crowding, social mixing patterns and respiratory symptoms in seven countries of the african meningitis belt.


Ferraro, CF; Trotter, CL; Nascimento, MC; Jusot, JF; Omotara, BA; Hodgson, A; Ali, O; Alavo, S; Sow, S; Daugla, DM; Stuart, JM; (2014) Household crowding, social mixing patterns and respiratory symptoms in seven countries of the african meningitis belt. PLoS One, 9 (7). e101129. ISSN 1932-6203 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0101129

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Abstract

OBJECTIVES To describe the variation in household crowding and social mixing patterns in the African meningitis belt and to assess any association with self-reported recent respiratory symptoms. METHODS In 2010, the African Meningococcal Carriage Consortium (MenAfriCar) conducted cross-sectional surveys in urban and rural areas of seven countries. The number of household members, rooms per household, attendance at social gatherings and meeting places were recorded. Associations with self-reported recent respiratory symptoms were analysed by univariate and multivariate regression models. RESULTS The geometric mean people per room ranged from 1.9 to 2.8 between Ghana and Ethiopia respectively. Attendance at different types of social gatherings was variable by country, ranging from 0.5 to 1.5 per week. Those who attended 3 or more different types of social gatherings a week (frequent mixers) were more likely to be older, male (OR 1.27, p<0.001) and live in urban areas (OR 1.45, p<0.001). Frequent mixing and young age, but not increased household crowding, were associated with higher odds of self-reported respiratory symptoms (aOR 2.2, p<0.001 and OR 2.8, p<0.001 respectively). A limitation is that we did not measure school and workplace attendance. CONCLUSION There are substantial variations in household crowding and social mixing patterns across the African meningitis belt. This study finds a clear association between age, increased social mixing and respiratory symptoms. It lays the foundation for designing and implementing more detailed studies of social contact patterns in this region.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases > Dept of Disease Control
PubMed ID: 24988195
Web of Science ID: 341354100063
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/1823781

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