Super-transmission events play a huge role in the spread of the new coronavirus, according to a study released by U.S. researchers. The researchers found that limiting the number of people gathered to 10 or less helped significantly reduce super-transmission events, which in turn reduced the overall number of infections. In epidemiology, the basic number of infections is the average number of infected persons per infected person.
This data varies from person to person, some infected people may not infect others, and super-transmitters may infect dozens of people. The basic number of infections continues to be below 1 before the outbreak can dissipate.
Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology recently published a paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences saying they define super-transmitters of the new coronavirus as those who can transmit the virus to more than six other people. Using this definition, they found 45 super-transmission events in the current new crown outbreak and 15 super-transmission events in the SARS outbreak in 2003 from published papers. Of these, the vast majority of super-transmission events infected 10 to 55 people, while two super-transmission events in the 2003 SARS outbreak infected more than 100 people.
Using mathematical tools in the field of extreme value theory, the researchers found that although super-transmission events are extreme in the spread of the new coronavirus, they can still occur. The researchers point out that the fact that an infected person becomes a super-transmitter is influenced by factors such as viral load and has a lot to do with the number of people exposed to the virus.
Based on this finding, the researchers developed a mathematical model of neo-coronavirus transmission, which showed that limiting the number of people gathered to 10 or less significantly reduced super-transmission events, thereby reducing the overall number of infections.
James Collins, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and one of the authors of the paper, said super-transmission events may be more important than most people first realized. Although super-propagation events are extreme events, they occur more frequently than people think. If the super-transmission event can be controlled, it is more likely to control the new crown outbreak.