“Any one of us could unknowingly be a superspreader.”
View full story at Source: >How superspreading is fueling the pandemic – Vox
“We now know that, on average, most people with the novel coronavirus pass the virus to just one other person, or to no one else at all. But some go on to infect many, many more, often before they even experience symptoms. Many of these transmission chains begin with “superspreading” events, where one person (usually in a crowded indoor space) passes the virus to dozens of others. Early contact tracing studies suggest these events have been a large driver of transmission around the world. By some estimates, 10 percent of people have been causing 80 percent of new infections. This is one of the reasons experts worry about large indoor gatherings— more so than outdoor ones — causing large spikes in case numbers.
Why is the coronavirus so good at superspreading? Find out at source link above.
“Some individuals seem to develop higher amounts of the virus in their system, upping their odds of transmitting it to others. And given that the amount of virus in the body tends to shift over the duration of infection — rising until around the onset of symptoms, then declining — the chance that someone is a likely superspreader changes over time.
“But what we have been learning is how individuals’ behavior could increase the chance they spread the virus to many others — or not. “We do know that wearing masks, keeping up physical distancing, avoiding crowds, and isolating upon becoming sick or testing positive can prevent superspreading,”
Figure A shows a large superspreading event that spiraled out from a cluster of bars in Hong Kong. Epidemiology
“These findings line up with other preliminary research that calculated closed environments to be almost 20 times more likely to spur additional coronavirus infections than open-air ones. There was concern that the massive protests across the US, which started in late May after the killing of George Floyd, would become superspreading events. So far the data suggests that wasn’t the case, with no large surge in cases in cities that had the largest demonstrations.
“This lines up with the science. “Outdoor events like the protests are inherently less risky than indoor events, given greater airflow (outside),” “It is also easier to spread out and maintain physical distancing.” And photographs of the protests have shown that a large number of people have been wearing masks. Still, no massive gathering is guaranteed to stay Covid-19-free. “There will still be increased risk of transmission given the large number of people present,” she says. It also appears that not all indoor venues and events are equally risky when it comes to starting a large cluster of new cases.
“A first step is following the lead of infectious disease experts, who know well what potential superspreading situations to avoid. “I might dine outside, if the tables were spaced apart, and I felt like the customers and restaurant staff were taking precautions.” Earlier this summer, she went camping with her family, but she chose campgrounds following CDC guidelines. “For other places, like parks and beaches, my advice is to be prepared to leave if they get crowded and you cannot safely distance,” she says.