According to a study, Biogen’s superspreader Boston event in February may have resulted in 245,000 Covid-19 cases in the United States and other countries.
While Massachusetts had the most cases in the early stages of the conference, Florida had the highest proportion of cases overall.
According to researchers, a conference in Boston earlier this year, which has already been identified as a coronavirus super-spreading event, may have infected around 245,000 Americans as well as people from other nations. While these estimates are preliminary, they “convey the likely scope” of regional, national, and international spread resulting from a single super-spreading event early in the Covid-19 pandemic, they say.
Sustained local transmission of coronavirus was initially observed in the Boston area in early March 2020, and case clusters soon followed. The first significant cluster was identified during Biogen’s worldwide business conference, which took place in Boston on February 26-27. A public health investigation using contact tracing revealed roughly 100 cases linked to this conference, increasing the possibility of a super-spreading event. The authors sequenced the genomes of 28 of these cases of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes Covid-19), which revealed “the signature of super-spreading.”
The coronavirus strain C2416T was found to be the perpetrator, according to the investigation. According to the authors, this particular strain of the virus was brought to Boston by a single person and propagated through the conference. They point out that a “single introduction had an outsized effect on subsequent transmission” since it was exacerbated by super-spreading in a highly mobile population early in the outbreak, before many public health protections were implemented. Another variant, G26233T, was discovered in 88,000 of these cases.
According to the researchers, the C2416T/G26233T sublineage, which emerged during the conference, was exported from Boston to at least 18 US states as well as Australia, Sweden, and Slovakia, with indications of community spread in many areas. While Massachusetts had the most instances related to the conference at the start, Florida had the highest proportion of cases overall (29.2 percent ).
“Genome findings show that the conference’s influence was substantially greater than the approximately 100 cases directly linked to it.” Using state-reported case numbers, we estimate that conference-associated viruses caused roughly 50,000 diagnosed cases (44,000-56,000) in the United States; of these, 46 percent (40.4-51.8%) occurred in Massachusetts. “We estimate that a total of 245,000 (205,000-300,000) cases designated by C2416T and 88,000 (56,000-139,000) cases marked by G26233T were related to the conference in the United States through November 1, 2020,” write the researchers in a report published in the journal Science.
The goal of the study was to figure out how super-spreading episodes affect regional and national transmission, which scientists say is “important for prioritizing public health initiatives.” “ Globally, massive continuous transmission underpins the fact that most countries are affected. Brinkwire News in a Nutshell