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Title: Estimating contact rates at a mass gathering by using video analysis: a proof-of-concept project

Current approaches for estimating social mixing patterns and infectious disease transmission at mass gatherings have been limited by various constraints, including low participation rates for volunteer-based research projects and challenges in quantifying spatially and temporally accurate person-to-person interactions. We developed a proof-of-concept project to assess the use of automated video analysis for estimating contact rates of attendees of the GameFest 2013 event at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in Troy, New York. Video tracking and analysis algorithms were used to estimate the number and duration of contacts for 5 attendees during a 3-minute clip from the RPI video. Attendees were considered to have a contact event if the distance between them and another person was ≤1 meter. Contact duration was estimated in seconds. We also simulated 50 attendees assuming random mixing using a geospatially accurate representation of the same GameFest location. The 5 attendees had an overall median of 2 contact events during the 3-minute video clip (range: 0 6). Contact events varied from less than 5 seconds to the full duration of the 3- minute clip. The random mixing simulation was visualized and presented as a contrasting example. We were able to estimate the number and duration of contacts formore » five GameFest attendees from a 3-minute video clip that can be compared to a random mixing simulation model at the same location. In conclusion, the next phase will involve scaling the system for simultaneous analysis of mixing patterns from hours-long videos and comparing our results with other approaches for collecting contact data from mass gathering attendees.« less
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [2]
  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA (United States). Division of Global Migration and Quarantine
  2. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
  3. Rensselaer Polytechnic Inst., Troy, NY (United States). Dept. of Electrical, Computer and Systems Engineering
  4. Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
BMC Public Health (Online)
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: BMC Public Health (Online); Journal Volume: 14; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 1471-2458
BioMed Central
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES; Mass gathering; Video analysis; Contact rates; Social mixing; Simulation
OSTI Identifier: