Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Covid-19 superspreading event in Boston may have led to 20,000 cases, researcher says


By Jacqueline Howard and Carma Hassan, CNN

(CNN) - One superspreading event may be connected to about 20,000 Covid-19 cases in the Boston area, a researcher said on Tuesday.

That event, a biotech conference attended by 200 people in late February, is now well known as a source of Covid-19 spread very early on in the pandemic.

"Ultimately, more than 90 cases were diagnosed in people associated with this conference or their contacts, raising suspicion that a superspreading event had occurred there," the researchers wrote in their study.

Superspreading occurs when one or a few infected people cause a cascade of transmissions of an infectious disease.

The new study -- which has not yet been peer-reviewed but was posted to the online server medrxiv.org on Tuesday -- involved analyzing the impact of early superspreading events in the Boston area and provided "direct evidence" that superspreading can profoundly alter the course of an epidemic.  Read more >>