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The case of the super-spreader

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The term “super-spreader” refers to an infected person who transmits the virus to more people than a typical infected person would. A virus’ R0 value (pronounced “R-naught”) refers to the average number of people that one sick person goes on to infect in a group with no immunity. The R0 of the coronavirus, so far, seems to hover between 2 and 2.5. 

It does not meant that a super-spreader has a ‘super-power’ abilities that people without full knowledge of this word would mean to them. Like what was mentioned above, a super-spreader is a virus-carrying individual, with or without knowledge, might pass a virus to a large number of people.

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Beware of the super-spreader

It happened in Seoul, Korea when a 29-year old male visited five clubs in Itaewon, Seoul, earlier in May. Twelve out of the 13 infected had contacts with the man at these clubs. The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated a combined total of at least 1,500 people might have visited these clubs, and that there will be more confirmed cases among them. A further 7200 people may have been exposed.

We haven’t heard yet of any super-spreader cases in the Philippines, and we will be glad and relieved if it don’t happen at all.

And people should not let their guards down, especially that many parts of the nation are already placed in general community quarantine (GCQ) and there are some individuals and establishments who are already laxed about it. The last thing we want to hear is for a super-spreader event happening in the future.

Super-spreader events, in which one person infects a disproportionately large number of others, are the primary means by which the coronavirus spreads, new research suggests. 

A group of epidemiologists in Hong Kong found that just 20% of cases studied there were responsible for 80% of all coronavirus transmission. The researchers also found that 70% of people infected with the coronavirus didn’t pass it to anyone else, and that all super-spreading events involved indoor social gatherings.

“That’s the picture we have so far,” Ben Cowling, one of the study co-authors, told Business Insider. “Super-spreading events are happening more than we expected, more than what could be explained by chance. The frequency of super-spreading is beyond what we could have imagined.”

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Super-spreading events happen in crowded, indoor areas

Coronavirus super-spreader events have shared a few key characteristics: They’ve involved indoor gatherings in which lots of people from different households were in close, extended contact.

For example, a superspreader event in Arkansas involved a pastor and his wife who attended church events and a bible study group a few days before they developed coronavirus symptoms. Of the 92 people they came into contact with, 35 got sick. Seven had to be hospitalized. Three died.

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DTI and DOT to allow establishments to reopen and resume operations

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and Department of Tourism (DOT) are now allowing some restaurants, fast-foods, and hotel chains to reopen and accept customers and guests if they already have the safe-pass requirements and certificate. In a hindsight, this latest development brings good news.

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But a safe-pass doesn’t mean a free-pass from COVID-19

Offices and restaurants can be infection hotspots, too. A study of an outbreak in a call center in Seoul, South Korea, revealed that almost half the employees on one floor got infected. Nearly all of them sat in the same section. 

In that sense, it’s not that certain individual people are more contagious than others or shed more virus. Instead, there’s a type of activity that gives individuals access to a greater number of people in areas conducive to the virus’ spread, Cowling said.

Research has found time and again that the risk of coronavirus transmission is higher indoors, in poorly ventilated spaces where lots of people have sustained contact. 

“You can’t have a super-spreading event unless there are a lot of people around, so you have to be very careful still about gatherings of people of any size — that includes religious services,” William Schaffner, an infectious-disease expert at Vanderbilt University, previously told Business Insider.

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If we target gatherings that could become super-spreader events, we could avoid more lockdowns

A few countries, like Japan and South Korea, have already shown that it’s possible to ride out an outbreak without dramatically restricting citizens’ movements or shutting down all stores, restaurants, and schools. 

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Follow the 3 C rule

Japan’s success stems from adherence to the “3 C’s rule.” The government told people to avoid closed spaces, crowded places, and close-contact settings — all of which are ripe for super-spreading events.

Going forward, Cowling thinks other countries could benefit from instituting rules that target the source of most transmissions (in addition to continued contact tracing and testing), rather than blanket shelter-in-place orders.

Source: Yahoo News

Admin - Metropoler

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Admin - Metropoler

Metropoler is a social media-centric news website in the Philippines that covers the intersection of financial, business, media, tech, science, tourism, food, entertainment, art, politics, and culture launched on June 1, 2020.
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