A: Avoid sharing indoor air with anyone outside your household, ESPECIALLY in large groups.
Even a medium-sized gathering, like an extended family trip to a cabin, can be a recipe for aerosol transmission of COVID-19 with people spending a long time together in poor ventilation.
A superspreader event is one in which many people are infected with COVID-19 at the same gathering. New outbreaks are being driven by a small number of people infecting many others through these types of events.
A major factor in superspreading is AEROSOLS – the tiny infected particles floating in the air that can travel **beyond** 6 feet, especially indoors. Aerosols play a big role in superspreading events because they can hang around in the air and easily travel throughout a shared room, sort of like that too-strong air freshener that makes its way across your whole house!
You might be thinking, “Okay, but I am not heading to any super-sized events anytime soon – all my concerts were canceled. How does this affect me?” BUT: superspreader events are NOT all just at giant indoor venues with tons of people. The infographic linked below lists many examples: parties, weddings, family gatherings, nursing homes, and more.
A good example of the sneaky nature of superspreading events comes to us from a CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) investigating an outbreak at a family gathering over the summer. While you can read more at the link below, here are the basics:
🏠 5 households gathered in a 5-bedroom house for 8-25 days
👨👩👧👦 14 family members stayed overnight in the same house
😷 12 out of 14 guests eventually experienced symptoms and were diagnosed with COVID-19
🌤 6 additional guests visited the house, but stayed outdoors and physically distanced. NONE of those 6 guests developed symptoms or were diagnosed with COVID-19
So how can this case teach us to avoid superspreader events? The best way is to **stay away from large, indoor gatherings of multiple households.**
As the folks at stopsuperspread.com point out, ventilation and filtration measures can help, but as Ben Franklin would say, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” We can all work together to reduce superspreading and break the chain of transmission for our communities!
Those Nerdy Girls