Routine public health surveillance of notifiable infectious diseases gives rise to weekly counts of reported cases-possibly stratified by region and/or age group. We investigate how an age-structured social contact matrix can be incorporated into a spatio-temporal endemic-epidemic model for infectious disease counts. To illustrate the approach, we analyze the spread of norovirus gastroenteritis over six age groups within the 12 districts of Berlin, 2011-2015, using contact data from the POLYMOD study. The proposed age-structured model outperforms alternative scenarios with homogeneous or no mixing between age groups. An extended contact model suggests a power transformation of the survey-based contact matrix toward more within-group transmission.
Meyer, S., & Held, L. (2017). Incorporating social contact data in spatio-temporal models for infectious disease spread. Biostatistics, 18(2), 338–351. https://doi.org/10.1093/biostatistics/kxw051