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Updated: June 30, 2020
With the increased spread of COVID-19 across many states, today’s Recommendations for Industry explores a recent NY Times article discussing COVID-19 apparent spread through “superspreader events” which may help in its control. Read more in today’s Recommendations for Industry.
The World Health Organization has come out with its timeline of WHO’s response to COVID-19; you can track the entire timeline from the start until now, here on their site.
Recommendations for Industry
Studies Show How Understanding COVID-19 “Superspreader Events” May Help in COVID-19 Control.
New studies are showing COVID-19 to be more of “superspreading” virus, in which it is a small number of infected people who pass it onto many others. As explained in a NY Times article, it is comparable to “throwing a match at kindling.” The first few may not light the kindling, but when one hits the right spot, the pile flares up!
Superspreading events are one of the factors that make the coronavirus different from influenza, where a large percentage of infected people pass it on to a few more, causing gradual and steady spread.
The question, which researchers are still trying to answer, is why certain people superspread COVID-19 while others don’t seem to transmit to anyone else; and that answer is key to control. Superspreader events may be caused by those who come into contact with more people and are, therefore, more likely to infect others. If this is true, then places where large numbers of people are in close contact and where ventilation is poor, the risk of spread can increase.
While there is still a lot to learn, the knowledge of COVID-19 being a superspreader could help in the development of control strategies, e.g., targeting superspreader events rather than enforcing complete lockdowns.
Therefore, robust risk mitigation strategies such as employee health screening, social distancing, quarantining of close-contacts, and widespread mask usage in indoor environments such as offices or manufacturing facilities remain essential in reducing the risk of transmission. These sustained behavioral changes are some of the most effective risk mitigation strategies to protect workers and the general public.
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