super diffusers are more important than expected – Wel.nl

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There were a few examples this weekend: a whole restaurant in Germany, a church in Frankfurt and a meat factory in Groenlo. All three a lot of infections, all three probably started with a “super spreader”. And then of course there is the legendary bartender in Ischgl, who is at the beginning of outbreaks in several countries.

Because super diffusers play an important role in the epidemic, we need to adjust our picture, write seven researchers. Forget the image that most people infect 2 to 3 others. A small number of infections infect a large group, while a large group of infections hardly causes further infections. The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine concludes that from research on the contaminations outside China until the end of February 80 percent of the infections are caused by 10 percent of the infections, writes De Standaard.

That is good news. “It means that there is generally little transmission,” says Niel Hens, professor of biostatistics at De Standaard.

If a large number of them are stopped, the epidemic will die out.

Also a plus: if super diffusers are more important, it is easier to achieve group immunity. “If you can extract a proportion of the super diffusers, you also reduce the bulk of the transmissions,” explains Hens. If we can identify who is at high risk of becoming super-dispersers, we could also vaccinate them first.

Now discover how one becomes a super spreader and the other does not. This is being sought worldwide.

Sources): De Standaard (€)

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