Inference of person-to-person transmission of COVID-19 reveals hidden super-spreading events during the early outbreak phase
Gao, George F.
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Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was first identified in late 2019 in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China and spread globally in months, sparking worldwide concern. However, it is unclear whether super-spreading events occurred during the early outbreak phase, as has been observed for other emerging viruses. Here, we analyse 208 publicly available SARSCoV-2 genome sequences collected during the early outbreak phase. We combine phylogenetic analysis with Bayesian inference under an epidemiological model to trace person-toperson transmission. The dispersion parameter of the offspring distribution in the inferred transmission chain was estimated to be 0.23 (95% CI: 0.13–0.38), indicating there are individuals who directly infected a disproportionately large number of people. Our results showed that super-spreading events played an important role in the early stage of the COVID-19 outbreak
Link to resourcehttps://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-18836-4
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