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Video: Research: Coronavirus May Spread Faster Than Thought
Research: Coronavirus May Spread Faster Than Thought
Infectionists assessed how quickly the coronavirus spreads and how often people contract COVID-19 from asymptomatic carriers of the disease. According to new data, previously the rate of spread of infection may have been underestimated.
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Infectionists assessed how quickly the coronavirus spreads and how often people contract COVID-19 from asymptomatic carriers of the disease. The new study is published in Emerging Infectious Diseases, according to a press release from the University of Texas at Austin. According to new data, previously the rate of spread of infection may have been underestimated.
The speed at which an epidemic spreads depends primarily on two indicators. The first is how many people can infect one patient. The second is how many days elapse between the onset of symptoms in the primary patient (source of infection) and the person who contracted it. The last (second) indicator is called the serial interval.
According to new data, the serial interval of the new coronavirus is four days. Such a short serial interval, according to scientists, indicates the ability of the infection to spread quickly and that it will be difficult to stop it.
“Ebola, which has a serial interval of several weeks, is much easier to contain than influenza, which has a serial interval of only a few days. Ebola fighters have much more time to identify patients before they infect others. Our data suggests that the coronavirus can spread like the flu. So we need to tackle this new danger more quickly and aggressively,”says Professor Lauren Ancel Meyers.
According to WHO data, cited by Rospotrebnadzor, the serial interval for COVID-19 is five to six days. That is, the rate at which the infection spreads may be underestimated.
The second important finding of scientists was that asymptomatic transmission can account for up to 10% of infections with the new coronavirus. They made this conclusion after analyzing 450 cases of infection in 93 cities in China.
The high percentage of spread of infection by people who are asymptomatic indicates that the infection will be difficult to contain. Scientists are convinced that their new findings highlight the need for extensive preventive measures, which could include "isolation, quarantine, school closures, and cancellation of public events."