6 2 mins 1 yr

Forget the “R” number, “K” is where it’s at.

When 61 people met for a choir practice in a church in Mount Vernon, Washington, on 10 March, everything seemed normal. For 2.5 hours the chorists sang, snacked on cookies and oranges, and sang some more. But one of them had been suffering for 3 days from what felt like a cold—and turned out to be COVID-19. In the following weeks, 53 choir members got sick, three were hospitalized, and two died, according to a 12 May report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that meticulously reconstructed the tragedy.

Many similar “superspreading events” have occurred in the COVID-19 pandemic.

It seems that the great majority of people who become infected with the Wuhan Virus do not infect other people. For something like 90 percent of infected people, the R number is zero. Most infections happens in clusters, at what has been termed “superspreader” events. Identify those types of events, shut them down early, immediately, and you have already done a lot to prevent the spread. (Guess which country allowed 300,000 people to attend the Cheltenham Festival in mid-March?)

The piece above about such events is in Science Magazine. It’s one of the more interesting pieces I’ve read lately.

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6 thoughts on “ON SUPERSPREADER EVENTS

  1. “Identify those types of events, shut them down early, immediately, and you have already done a lot to prevent the spread.

    How could you identify ahead of time that a 61 person choir practice would be a super-spreader event?

  2. FO –

    I’m suggesting that the types of events most prone to superspreading is still being studied. Put an “if” at the start of the sentence if you like. However this has been looked at, and recently. From the piece:

    A 2019 study of healthy people showed some breathe out many more particles than others when they talk. (The volume at which they spoke explained some of the variation.) Singing may release more virus than speaking, which could help explain the choir outbreaks.

  3. A similar episode occurred in South Korea in February. A cult religion was to blame:

    “A woman who turned out to be the first confirmed case in Yongin, to the north of Seoul, lied to the government and her own family about having visited the church at Daegu, with video cameras proving her attendance.

    A 61-year-old woman who attends the church at Daegu, South Korea’s ground zero for the Covid-19 outbreak, attended a service in that city last week and has since been identified as a “super-spreader,” an individual who ends up infecting a disproportionately large number of others. She is connected to 455 confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to Korea Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).

    As of February 27 (Thursday), 1,848 church members from Daegu have been tested for the disease, with 833 positive and 183 negative results.”

    https://www.msn.com/en-sg/news/other/south-korean-cult-responsible-for-over-half-of-covid-19-cases-allegedly-told-members-to-spread-virus-to-other-churches/ar-BB10HYzl

  4. Super spreading bullshit..

    We had a senior nurse here pop in for a cup of tea a few days back..

    She is a senior nurse in a care home in St Albans.

    Four people passed away last week, the ages were 92, 93, 95, and 97.

    All suffered from either COPD, heart issues, or just plain old age.

    Nonetheless, when she as a senior nurse received the death certificates, they all died from Covid-19?

    As she explained, not one of them were actually even tested for Covid-19.

    We are being had over, hook, line & sinker.

    You have more chance of being struck by lightening, twice… riding a unicycle down Oxford street.

  5. The sooner this Chinese virus is over, the better..

    All those old folk in care homes, can revert back to Immortality.

  6. “A 2019 study of healthy people showed some breathe out many more particles than others when they talk.”

    I’ll bet you it is politicians.

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