As we learn more about how the coronavirus spreads between people, there’s more evidence to suggest that most infections are transmitted by a select few individuals we call “superspreaders. ” Here’s what a superspreader is, the role these people play in transmitting the virus, and what we’re trying to do about it. What is a superspreader? The word is a generic term for an unusually contagious individual who’s been infected with disease.
Contact tracing is still critical for identifying potential carriers and isolating them and anyone they have been in contact with—which keeps superspreaders from moving around and spreading the virus. Epidemiologists also point to mitigating the “three Cs” of transmission: closed spaces with poor ventilation, crowded settings, and close contact with others.
For covid-19, this means 80% of new transmissions are caused by fewer than 20% of the carriers—the vast majority of people infect very few others or none at all, and it’s a select minority of individuals who are aggressively spreading the virus.
There’s more evidence to suggest most covid-19 infections are transmitted by “superspreaders.” https://t.co/lb8Fmi36R8— MIT Technology Review (@techreview) August 18, 2020