January 18, 2021
CNN: A so-called Covid-19 “superspreader” who traveled around northeastern China has been linked to 102 confirmed infections, according to Chinese officials.
The individual, who worked as a salesman promoting health products to the elderly, had traveled from his home province of Heilongjiang to neighboring Jilin province, bringing the virus with him.
Authorities claim he unknowingly spread the virus among elderly residents for several days before he was tracked down by health officials as a close contact of a confirmed case.
“The superspreading phenomenon occurred in our province mainly because when the superspreader was discovered, he was still in the early phase of his infection and had relatively strong ability to shed the virus,” Zhao Qinglong, an official with the Jilin provincial disease control and prevention center, told state-run news agency Xinhua.
A superspreading event occurs when an individual infects a large number of people, because of a higher viral load in their droplets, or other factors such as behaviors and timing.
The apparent superspreading event in Jilin occurred as China is battling its worst coronavirus outbreak in months, which has seen hundreds of cases reported and tens of millions of people placed under lockdown in its northern provinces.
It also demonstrated the extent and speed of contact tracing and screening by Chinese health authorities, which have played a crucial role in taming local outbreaks.