‘Super spreaders’ make the coronavirus headache even worse

World

‘Super spreaders’ make the coronavirus headache even worse

The mystery puzzling scientists is why some sufferers are far more infectious than others

Sarah Newey

Experts are increasingly concerned that “super spreaders” could make the coronavirus outbreak difficult to control and its trajectory harder to predict.

The term describes an individual who infects a disproportionately high number of people. It is known to occur in some viruses but not others – and scientists do not know why.

Some diseases, such as flu, have relatively stable transmission rates; every infected person would be expected to pass the disease on to one or two others. In the case of the new coronavirus, known as 2019-nCoV, it appears some individuals will not infect anyone, while others could pass the disease to tens of people. ..

This article is reserved for Times Select subscribers.
A subscription gives you full digital access to all Times Select content.

Times Select

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems?
Email helpdesk@timeslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00.