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Infectivity, susceptibility, and risk factors associated with SARS-CoV-2 transmission under intensive contact tracing in Hunan, China.

Abstract

Several mechanisms driving SARS-CoV-2 transmission remain unclear. Based on individual records of 1178 potential SARS-CoV-2 infectors and their 15,648 contacts in Hunan, China, we estimated key transmission parameters. The mean generation time was estimated to be 5.7 (median: 5.5, IQR: 4.5, 6.8) days, with infectiousness peaking 1.8 days before symptom onset, with 95% of transmission events occurring between 8.8 days before and 9.5 days after symptom onset. Most transmission events occurred during the pre-symptomatic phase (59.2%). SARS-CoV-2 susceptibility to infection increases with age, while transmissibility is not significantly different between age groups and between symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals. Contacts in households and exposure to first-generation cases are associated with higher odds of transmission. Our findings support the hypothesis that children can effectively transmit SARS-CoV-2 and highlight how pre-symptomatic and asymptomatic transmission can hinder control efforts.

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