According to a recently published study, the spread of Coronavirus is driven by only a small percentage of those who contract it, otherwise known as superspreaders, with children and young adults playing a key role in transmitting the virus.
Researchers at the Princeton Environmental Institute (PEI), Johns Hopkins University, and the University of California have carried out what has now become the largest contact tracing study to date.
The study was conducted in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh to track the infection and mortality rate of 575,071 individuals who were exposed to 84,965 confirmed cases of COVID-19.
Of the total confirmed cases, 71% of the individuals did not infect any of their contacts while 8% of the individuals were responsible for more than 60% of the new infections.
Moreover, the study found out that the chances of passing on the Coronavirus in communities and households stood at 2.6% and 9% respectively.
It added that children and young adults played an important role in spreading the virus in both communities and households.
Ramanan Laxminarayan, the study’s lead researcher and a senior research scholar at PEI, has said:
The study captures the extraordinary extent to which COVID-19 hinges on superspreading. It presents the largest empirical demonstration of superspreading that we are aware of in any infectious disease. Superspreading events are the rule rather than the exception when one is looking at the spread of COVID-19, both in India and likely in all affected places.
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