Doctors research how ‘superspreaders’ are fueling COVID-19 pandemic

Local doctors say certain people may be spreading coronavirus at a faster rate

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Researchers are working to find how so-called “superspreaders” are fueling the coronavirus pandemic.

Doctors nationwide have said viruses can multiply to larger numbers inside some people, making some cases fatal.

Adam Kucharski, an epidemiologist at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine told the New York Times that when the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, he and his colleagues tried to calculate why some people are more susceptible to the virus than others. In some cases, these people can spread the virus more easily, calling them “superspreaders.”

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“The bottom line with ‘superspreaders’ is it’s one of those perfect storms,” Action News Jax Medical Expert Dr. Michelle Aquino with Baptist Health said.

Doctors have found some people are asymptomatic carriers, meaning they have contracted the virus but may not show symptoms for several days. These carriers can expose a large amount of people to the virus and not realize it at the time.

“Lets say someone is bus driver and has the disease. Imagine all of the people they’re exposing themselves to. They can spread it, that would be a super spreader. Or going to a festival, hanging around a bunch of people. Working in a concession stand and you’re dealing with a lot of people and you have it,” Aquino said.

Until a COVID-19 vaccine is developed, she said it’s important to protect yourself in public using a face mask and social distancing.