Covid-19: who are the "super pollutants" responsible for the spread of the epidemic

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Not all patients infected with Covid-19 would be contagious, and the spread of the virus would be due to a minority of infected people, nicknamed "super contaminants." A recent British study believes that this discovery could help limit the spread of the coronavirus.

Regular hand washing, wearing a mask, social distancing, use of hydroalcoholic gel: the barrier measures implemented for a few months have limited the spread of Covid-19, but the number of infected continues to increase.

Although some people seem not to be highly contagious, there are "super contaminants" capable of transmitting the virus much more easily than others.

Several studies have already tried to assess the degree of contamination of the various viruses that may have circulated, such as the Spanish flu.

Super pollutants: who are they?

London specialists recently analyzed variations in transmission of the Covid-19 virus between individuals. They noted that the risks of infection varied greatly from person to person and that "80% of secondary transmissions may have been caused by a small fraction of infectious individuals." They also say that not all symptomatic cases are necessarily contagious, as has already been shown with the appearance of previous viruses.

The super contaminants could represent around 10% of those infected, according to this work.

Akira Endo and his team believe that this discovery could help limit the scale of the pandemic: "Since most infected individuals do not contribute to the spread of an epidemic, the effective amount of contamination could be greatly reduced by preventing super-spreading events relatively rare, "they explain in this study broadcast on the Wellcome Open Research platform.

Limiting large events, where many people are likely to come into contact and be exposed to a small fraction of the so-called "super pollutant," could significantly reduce the increase in the number of new cases.

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