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Why do some new COVID variants take hold while others disappear? Study reveals who is super-spreader

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The COVID-19 pandemic has been exacerbated by novel mutations, resulting in many infections and fatalities.

Despite the fact that vaccines have remained partially effective against variants, their ongoing appearance raises the likelihood of variants evading immunity.

COVID-19 persistence is mostly due to the ability of a single infected person to infect a large number of people.

In this new study, the team tried to explain why some emerging variants take hold and some don’t.

Why some new COVID variants take hold while others disappear
Why do some new COVID variants take hold while others disappear? Study reveals who is super-spreader

US scientists using computer modeling say COVID-19 variants are more likely to dominate if they are linked with a super-spreader event – of more than five COVID-19 infections per day – soon after they emerge, helping to explain why some new variants take hold while others disappear.

Their simulations reveal that most new variants only infect some individuals before fading out, in the absence of a super-spreader event.

The authors say this raises an intriguing theory – that other coronaviruses with pandemic potential frequently infect humans.

They say ongoing public health efforts can delay new variants of concern by dampening spread, and help mitigate fresh pandemics from other viruses.

These findings aid in our understanding of previous outbreaks and emphasize the need of averting super spreading occurrences through mass vaccination and non-pharmaceutical measures.

Source: 10.1098/rsif.2021.0811

Image Credit: Getty

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