Wednesday, May 12, 2021


 Bsking sends along a new paper about superspreaders of Covid. Key section: 

A Small Subset of Individuals Carries Most of the Circulating Virions.

We next analyzed how virus is distributed between individuals within populations. By summing the viral load across individuals based on the interpolated probability density function representing each population, starting with those with the highest viral loads, we find that just 2% of individuals harbor 90% of the circulating virions



RichardJohnson said...

Would that be the 21st century version of Typhoid Mary? Covid Karen?

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Ouch. It sort of is, isn't it? A disease is widespread at a low level, and conditions have to be right for it to pass to others. But once those conditions are met, it gets devastating fast. That is pretty much what we have seen, with folks complaining that there is hardly any transmission, so what's all the fuss, while their next-door neighbors who have only a slightly different profile - work, hobbies, time indoors - have a half-dozen friends who got the disease.

If this repeats, it's going to be very tricky if there are the few who have to have their rights trampled because thy have got a particularly bad form or contagion, while others with almost the same situation can play poker with their friends all night because their risk is lower. Because "lower" doesn't mean "nothing," and "increased risk" does not mean "definite." Also, it is now not a clean situation as if we had known all this fifteen months ago and made those calculations then. The population is already divided into people who are torqued off one way and those torqued off the other, which will influence their future response.

Sadly, it may even dictate their future responses, regardless of data one way or the other. The cautious will want the 98% to mask anyway, and some of the frustrated will refuse to mask or distance even if their testing shows they are one of the 2% potential superspreaders because they are so angry from last time.