30% super spreaders caused 80% COVID-19 infections globally

30% super spreaders caused 80% COVID-19 infections globally


Dr Lucy Li, a data scientist at the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub says , Nearly  80% of the COVID-19 infections have been caused by the top 30% most infectious people worldwide and there is very wide range of infections that are still undetected.

While there are still individual super-spreaders, perhaps more important for this current coronavirus pandemic is the contribution of super-spreading events where large number of people congregate in close proximity, she said during an interview with an Amazon team this week.

According to Li , one thing that makes COVID-19 most challenging to track is that not all individuals who have it exhibit symptoms. “The virus genome mutants at a fairly constant rate as it spread across the population, even when it’s spreading in asymptomatic individuals. That means that every time someone new is infected, the virus changes a little bit and the mutation happens at a fairly constant rate as it spreads”, she explained.

Her latest research is supported by the AWS Diagnostic Development initiative, a global program to support organizations working to bring better, more diagnostics solutions to market faster.

Biohub is a joint collaboration effort by UC Berkeley , University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)and Stanford University funded by a $600 million commitment from Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan. “For this research, I created a mathematical model to estimate the number of undetected infections at 12 locations in Asia, Europe, and the US over the course of the pandemic“, she informed.

She founded that there was a very wide range of infections that were undetected across these locations. The rate of undetected infections was as high as over 90 per cent in Shanghai. “We also found that there was significant change over time in the probability of detecting a case“, said Li.

The overall number of global Covid-19 cases has surpassed the 11 million mark, while the deaths have soared to more than 5,24,000, according to Johns Hopkins University.

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