Superspreaders unwittingly at work in corona outbreak

An increasing number of people who are testing positive for coronavirus appear to be superspreaders who produce enormous quantities of coronavirus in their snot and saliva. Superspreaders are playing a larger role in today’s spike than in the outbreak earlier this year.

Superspreaders can infect an awful lot of people because they produce gigantic amounts of snot and saliva containing virus in their nose and throat. It’s a well-documented phenomenon in regard to respiratory diseases” says Prof Marc Van Ranst. “When they cough or even speak with a loud voice virus particles fly through the air and infect others.”

Superspreaders don’t realise what they are up to.  They may or may not display symptoms.  They simply produce more snot and saliva.

Prof Van Ranst notes that in comparison with other viral infections the disease COVID-19 produces enormous quantities of virus: “Even among the elderly who we thought had dry mucous membranes and produced little virus.  COVID-19 is able to set this whole machinery in motion.”

Superspreaders can be identified through a corona test. “You see an awful lot of virus in their samples” says Van Ranst.  “I’ve asked for these people to be alerted.  Some tests are simple positive/negative tests.  Positive tests have been repeated to show the amount of virus present.”

It’s been established that the role of superspreaders is larger now than in the March outbreak, but why this is the case is unclear.

Top stories