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Break the Chain of Transmission

Cutting a Link in the Chain of Transmission A simple tree diagram shows how limiting contacts early might prevent many infections. If each infected person spreads the coronavirus to two other people, the chain of infections would grow exponentially. Avoiding even one social transmission early on in the chain could significantly reduce the number of

Cutting a Link in the Chain of Transmission

A simple tree diagram shows how limiting contacts early might prevent many infections.

If each infected person spreads the coronavirus to two other people, the chain of infections would grow exponentially.

Avoiding even one social transmission early on in the chain could significantly reduce the number of infections.

 After studying infectious diseases, epidemiologists like Helen Jenkins, of Boston University, and Bill Hanage, of Harvard, who are married, typically go one of two ways.

“They either become completely and utterly infection conscious,” Dr. Hanage said, “or they are the type of person who drops the toast and picks it up and wipes it off and eats it.”

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“We would mostly be in the second category, but this has pushed us into the first category fairly visibly,” he continued, adding, “when the facts change, I update my priors” — a statistician’s term for what one believes and expects.

With the coronavirus pandemic, the facts update daily. To adapt, Dr. Hanage, who studies and teaches the evolution and epidemiology of infectious diseases, broadly embraced the guiding principle that he conveys to his students: “Come on, you’ve got to think like the pathogen! Try to see it from the point of view of the pathogens and their evolution. What is going to be most helpful to them? What is going to enable them to leave the most descendants?”

Recently, the family — Dr. Jenkins and Dr. Hanage, and their two daughters, ages 10 and 7 — gathered around their homemade whiteboard in the kitchen. Dr. Jenkins, whose work focuses on tuberculosis, which still kills about 4,000 people daily around the world, drew a simple tree diagram, as a way to clearly convey the value of cutting just one link in the coronavirus transmission chain.

The basic message: Very simple interventions, such as working from home and severing even one link, have an exponential effect. Every individual acting preemptively can make a huge difference.

See the video on click here
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Mayur Kakadiya
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1 Comment

  • Mayank
    April 1, 2020, 10:55 am

    This is good information to break chain of transmission and also helpful your video.

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