University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Worms and Bugs > BBC Pandemic, Haslemere Edition: Evaluating epidemic dynamics using fine-scale interpersonal distance data from mobile phones

BBC Pandemic, Haslemere Edition: Evaluating epidemic dynamics using fine-scale interpersonal distance data from mobile phones

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Human movement patterns are fundamental to disease transmission, and yet we know surprisingly little about them. Few empirical datasets exist that characterise how humans interact on epidemiologically relevant geographic and time scales. In October of 2017, we conducted a study to help address this gap. With the help of a television production company, local authorities, and the BBC , we recruited 469 volunteers from the town of Haslmere, England to use a mobile phone app to record their movements for three consecutive days. Using these data, we produced an outbreak simulation for the BBC Four documentary “Contagion! The BBC Four Pandemic” describing how a highly contagious respiratory pathogen might spread in Haslemere. In this talk, I will discuss the Haslemere dataset and the associated outbreak simulation featured in the documentary. I will also describe how the dataset opens new opportunities to better understand fundamental concepts in epidemiology, like the basic reproduction number, and to design optimal intervention strategies.

This talk is part of the Worms and Bugs series.

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