News

Undocumented spread of COVID-19 in China

March 24, 2020

Share article

The authors were interested in the prevalence and contagiousness of undocumented SARS-CoV-2 infections to understand the overall prevalence and pandemic potential of COVID-19. They used observations of reported infection within China together with mobility data to create a networked dynamic metapopulation model. This allowed them to infer critical epidemiological characteristics associated with SARS-CoV-2, including the fraction of undocumented infections and their contagiousness. The authors estimated that 86% of all infections were undocumented prior to the 23rd January 2020 travel restrictions. Per person, the transmission rate of undocumented infections was 55% of documented infections but, due to their greater numbers, undocumented infections were the infection source for 79% of documented cases. Therefore the virus was able to rapidly spread geographically, making its initial containment challenging.

Read more here

Li r, Pei S, Chen B, Song Y, Zhang T, et al. ISSN: Science; eabb3221

2020

Added: March 24, 2020