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Public activities preceding the onset of acute respiratory infection syndromes in adults in England - implications for the use of social distancing to control pandemic respiratory infections. [version 1; peer review: 2 approved]

Hayward, A; Beale, S; Johnson, A; Fragaszy, E; Flu Watch Group, ; (2020) Public activities preceding the onset of acute respiratory infection syndromes in adults in England - implications for the use of social distancing to control pandemic respiratory infections. [version 1; peer review: 2 approved]. Wellcome Open Research , 5 , Article 54. 10.12688/wellcomeopenres.15795.1. Green open access

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Abstract

Background: Social distancing measures may reduce the spread of emerging respiratory infections however, there is little empirical data on how exposure to crowded places affects risk of acute respiratory infection. / Methods: We used a case-crossover design nested in a community cohort to compare self-reported measures of activities during the week before infection onset and baseline periods. The design eliminates the effect of non-time-varying confounders. Time-varying confounders were addressed by exclusion of illnesses around the Christmas period and seasonal adjustment. / Results: 626 participants had paired data from the week before 1005 illnesses and the week before baseline. Each additional day of undertaking the following activities in the prior week was associated with illness onset: Spending more than five minutes in a room with someone (other than a household member) who has a cold (Seasonally adjusted OR 1·15, p=0·003); use of underground trains (1·31, p=0·036); use of supermarkets (1·32, p<0·001); attending a theatre, cinema or concert (1·26, p=0·032); eating out at a café, restaurant or canteen (1·25, p=0·003); and attending parties (1·47, p<0·001). Undertaking the following activities at least once in the previous week was associated with illness onset: using a bus, (aOR 1.48, p=0.049), shopping at small shops (1.9, p<0.002) attending a place of worship (1.81, p=0.005). / Conclusions: Exposure to potentially crowded places, public transport and to individuals with a cold increases risk of acquiring circulating acute respiratory infections. This suggests social distancing measures can have an important impact on slowing transmission of emerging respiratory infections.

Type: Article
Title: Public activities preceding the onset of acute respiratory infection syndromes in adults in England - implications for the use of social distancing to control pandemic respiratory infections. [version 1; peer review: 2 approved]
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.12688/wellcomeopenres.15795.1
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.12688/wellcomeopenres.15795.1
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2020 Hayward AC et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: Acute Respiratory Infection, Pandemic, Transmission, Social Distancing, COVID-19
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute for Global Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute for Global Health > Infection and Population Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Epidemiology and Public Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Health Informatics
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Health Informatics > Infectious Disease Informatics
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10094900
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