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Who acquires infection from whom in resource poor countries?

Infectious diseases are still one of the first causes of child mortality in low-middle-income countries. These countries are receiving money from donors to sustain their vaccination programs but only for a limited time period. We need to contribute to the development of appropriate tools that will help local Governments to implement the most effective and cost-effective policies given their limited availability of financial resources.

Respiratory infectious diseases such as common cold and flu affect many young children, older individuals and those with a weak immune system. These diseases may spread from one person to another through breathing in germs present in the air or touching surfaces that have germs deposited when a sick person coughs or sneezes. Day-to-day activities called “social interactions” such as meeting and talking face-to-face or exchanging handshakes and hugs may lead to an infection being transmitted from one person to another. People are also known to behave differently depending on who they are with or where they are, and at what time. For example, children will spend most of their time at school and interact with fellow students; hence they may be able to pass infections to more children compared to a stranger they meet. School children may also infect other household members because they spend a lot of leisure time with them.