COVID-19: What is a coronavirus superspreader?
A similar event to the one in India happened last May 30th during a birthday party in Texas. It was reported that a man infected 18 of his friends and family with COVID-19.
Another similar case happened in Washington, where 61 people met for a couple of hours of choir practice. A few weeks later, 53 of them tested positive for COVID-19.
It was discovered later on that during the practice, one of them was already suffering from what they thought was just a cold. It turns out, that person was also infected with COVID-19, and infected the rest of the choir.
These instances are just a few examples of how a coronavirus superspreader can unwittingly infect the people around them. These instances are also known as “superspreading events,” and usually involve large gatherings, or prolonged exposure to infected people.
How does a person become a coronavirus superspreader?
The information that we currently have about coronavirus superspreaders is vague.
We don’t exactly know how a person becomes one, but we do know that some people are more infectious than others. And if a superspreader goes to a large gathering, or continues to stay in contact with other people, it could easily cause another outbreak.
While it is true that superspreaders are more contagious than others, it also has a lot to do with a person’s behavior.
For example, a potential superspreader who is just quarantined at home, and does not interact much with people has a very low chance of spreading the virus to others.
In contrast, a superspreader who does not follow safety protocols, and goes to large gatherings can infect a large number of people.
What makes superspreaders worrisome is the fact that it just takes a few of them to cause an outbreak.
In fact, it is believed that in some areas, 10% of infected people might be responsible for 80% of cases. This is why focusing on superspreaders is an important strategy when it comes to fighting against COVID-19.