Tiny (and not so tiny) Human Disease Vectors – the Princeton-led Study

Children and young adults were found to be potentially much more important to transmitting the virus — especially within households — than previous studies have identified, according to a paper by researchers from the United States and India published Sept. 30 in the journal Science.

Researchers from the Princeton Environmental Institute (PEI), Johns Hopkins University and the University of California, Berkeley, worked with public health officials in the southeast Indian states of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh to track the infection pathways and mortality rate of 575,071 individuals who were exposed to 84,965 confirmed cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by SARS-CoV-2. It is the largest contact tracing study — which is the process of identifying people who came into contact with an infected person — conducted in the world for any disease.

Lead researcher Ramanan Laxminarayan, a senior research scholar in PEI, said that the paper is the first large study to capture the extraordinary extent to which SARS-CoV-2 hinges on “superspreading,” in which a small percentage of the infected population passes the virus on to more people. The researchers found that 71% of infected individuals did not infect any of their contacts, while a mere 8% of infected individuals accounted for 60% of new infections.

Largest COVID-19 contact tracing study to date finds children key to spread, evidence of superspreaders — https://www.princeton.edu/news/2020/09/30/largest-covid-19-contact-tracing-study-date-finds-children-key-spread-evidence

My original Tiny Human Disease Vector post is below:

Twelve children acquired COVID-19 in child care facilities. Transmission was documented from these children to at least 12 (26%) of 46 nonfacility contacts (confirmed or probable cases). One parent was hospitalized. Transmission was observed from two of three children with confirmed, asymptomatic COVID-19.

Transmission Dynamics of COVID-19 Outbreaks Associated with Child Care Facilities — Salt Lake City, Utah, April–July 2020 — https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6937e3.htm?s_cid=mm6937e3_w

Handing out sugar to tiny humans this year is not happening at our house. AND Thanksgiving is going to be very, very tricky this year.

One thought on “Tiny (and not so tiny) Human Disease Vectors – the Princeton-led Study

  1. Kids are walking petri dishes and have no control over their cough sneeze or where their hands go. I plan to hand out candy, but from a distance. I’m going to ask them Hershey or snickers and toss it to them. No dipping into the candy bowl. And they have to be here before 7 o’clock. I go to bed early.

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