Faculty: Xihong Lin
Xihong Lin, professor of Biostatistics, and collaborators studied the transmission dynamics of the SARS-CoV-2 in Wuhan, China between January and March and found that up to 87 percent of infections in the city were undetected, potentially including asymptomatic and mildly symptomatic cases. Transmission rates during this period could have been as high as 3.54 infections per case, and were only controlled due to widespread and strict containment measures and interventions.
“There are important consequences to those undetected cases,” said Lin in a Harvard Gazette article about the research. “Even though they are undetected, they are still infectious. It’s important to avoid reopening too early without vigilant control measures, because when the number of detected cases is not low, the numbers of undetected cases, or unascertained cases, are not low either. They are even bigger.”
Relevant links: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-020-2554-8; Lin Lab page – Visualizing COVID-19’s Effective Reproduction Number (Rt)