In partnership with The Fresh Toast
The term “super spreader” is pretty self-explanatory. It refers to cases where there is a high possibility that bacteria or viruses will spread. In terms of the coronavirus pandemic, it means an event or person that is transmitting COVID-19 to a large number of people.
Usually, a person infected with COVID-19 can spread the virus to members of their household and some other people with whom they come in close contact. But during a super-spreader event, they could spread the virus to 10 or more people.
The Huffington Post spoke to Quentin Leclerc, a researcher in mathematical modeling of infectious diseases. He said that by focusing on the events themselves, rather than the person responsible for the spread, people can shift their focus and prevent these cases from occurring.
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"A lot of people ask: what are the highest risk attitudes or how do we rank them?" Leclerc said, "but it doesn't make much sense to talk about it that way. What is interesting to say is that we are seeing super-spreading events here. These are the characteristics of attitudes. (So) These are the factors that make super -Spreading events enable, not settings. "
Photo by Kevin Curtis via Unsplash
Laclerc explained that the coronavirus thrives indoors where it's cold, ventilation is poor, and people can't really practice social distancing. Choirs where people sing and stand close together, nursing homes where people with compromised immune systems live, and prisons where people are housed in enclosed spaces with poor hygiene are some of the most common super spreaders.
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Weddings can also be super-spreader events, like the one in Maine, which has been linked to 134 coronavirus cases and one death, when only 62 people attended. Take that away? Just because an event is small doesn't mean it's safe. Always wear your mask, avoid gatherings where social distancing is impossible, and quarantine yourself for 14 days if you think you have come into contact with an infected person.