COVID-19 Weekly Watch SUPERSPREADING EDITION: October 5-12

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Authors: Bridget Lavin, Azra K. Nurkic, Chelsea Raubenheimer

To date, much focus has been on the COVID-19 reproduction number (R), representing the average number of people that a single infected person goes on to infect. However, recent events in the United States have drawn increased attention to the extreme variability in transmission patterns among individuals. Studies show that 10%-20% of COVID-19 cases are responsible for about 80% of transmission, meaning super spreading events are responsible for a majority of COVID-19 diagnoses. This week, I4DI shines a spotlight on super spreading. What is it? What do super-spreading venues have in common? And how have other countries contained outbreaks from their own super-spreading events? From parties, to prisons, to factories, rapid COVID-19 transmission is most likely to occur in these closed, indoor, tightly-packed spaces. As case numbers in the United States rise for the third time since the start of the pandemic, perhaps this time we will take the science to heart and avoid such events which only serve to exacerbate our current public health crisis. Lean more on this I4DI’s COVID-19 Weekly Watch.

Addition stats from this week include:

Peru has the highest coronavirus mortality rate. To date, 1 in 962 Peruvians have died of COVID-19.

10% – 20% of COVID-19 cases are responsible for about 80% of transmission.

All superspreader events have the following 3 things in common

– Large numbers of people congregate in indoor or indoor/outdoor settings

          – Over a longer period of time ( typically 15 minutes or longer)

          – Loud talking, singing, hard breathing (exercise), laughing, coughing, sneezing

In March 2020, South Korea effectively contained the rapidly growing Korean COVID-19 outbreak

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Interested to learn more?

Explore our other COVID-19 weekly infographics here