DETROIT – It’s becoming clear that many activities we would not have given a second thought about doing months ago, now pose a risk with COVID-19.
There is no exact definition of a super spreader but the general idea is that it’s a patient -- or an event -- that may transmit infection to a larger group of individuals well beyond the usual number. In a CDC report, it was one infected person singing in a choir. and although mask use, social distancing and hand washing have become norms, this specific activity should be emphasized to show the need for precautions.
On March 10, a single infected individual participated in a two and a half hour choir practice with 60 other people. At the time special social distancing precautions were not in place and no one was wearing masks.
From the contact tracing investigation, the health department was able to estimate that 52 people developed COVID-19 from one person, -- an attack rate of 53% among confirmed cases and 87% among all cases. Three people were hospitalized, including the index patent, two people died.
Ultimately, although there were many possible routes of transmission, the CDC pointed out that aerosol spread during speech has been correlated with loudness of vocalization or singing. Also, certain people do release significantly more virus than others -- referred to as superemitters -- who are thought to contribute even more to super speading events. Just another reason to continue social distancing and precautions.
Anyone who believes they might have coronavirus should follow the CDC guidelines. Michigan.gov has a list of resources available to those concerned about COVID-19.
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