Super spreader COVID-19: New study shows the answers in the
Annals of Internal Medicine
Quick Summary of Important Findings of the super spreader COVID-19:
Super spreader COVID-19 information:
- Most infected people do not transmit SARS-CoV-2 (the novel coronavirus responsible for COVID-19)
- – Some people are “superspreaders,” infecting many people they come into contact with
– Who are these superspreaders? How can we identify them so we can super-quarantine them?
– We need to figure this out
– It is theorized they probably have a “high viral load” (heavily infected, with respiratory droplets that are much more infectious than others)
Resource: Meyerowitz EA, et al. Transmission of SARS-CoV-2: A Review of Viral, Host, and Environmental Factors [published online ahead of print, 2020 Sep 17]. Ann Intern Med. 2020;M20-5008. doi:10.7326/M20-5008
When are superspreaders most infectious?
– Infectiousness occurs before symptoms ever occur
– Infectiousness is at its peak the day before the person develops symptoms
– The infectious period gradually goes away within a week
– There are no cases of transmission more than “about a week” after infection symptoms 1st began
– Definite transmission by “fomites” has not been documented
– A “fomite” transmission would be touching something the infected person touched
– Cannot rule out respiratory spread in presumed fomite transmission cases
– However, fomite-transmission is not ruled out and it is still important to wear gloves and disinfect
– The lowest rate of infection is staying at home, never going out, ordering everything like groceries to be delivered, not allowing anyone to come into contact with you (except another person in the home who does the same)
– If you must come into contact with others, lowest transmission is when both people wear a good mask and are at least 6 feet apart
– Highest transmission rate = indoor social gatherings and not everyone wearing a mask
Updated September 2021: Please note that people with compromised immune systems, such as those with systemic lupus, need to protect themselves even after being vaccinated. The vaccines work and help, but many lupus patients have a low response rate to the vaccines.
How to prepare family for pandemic? Continue social distancing! Continue to avoid large inside gatherings. Practice the “cocoon effect” where you ask all your close contacts to be vaccinated or stay away from you as much as possible. I believe it is a social moral principal for society to protect each other from this devastating infection. This is especially true when that person has a condition that increases their risk of a bad outcome from the infection.