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Epidemiology and transmission dynamics of COVID-19 in two Indian states

By Ramanan Laxminarayan, Brian Wahl, Shankar Reddy Dudala, K Gopal, Chandra Mohan, S Neelima, K. S. Jawahar Reddy, J Radhakrishnan, Joseph Lewnard

Posted 17 Jul 2020
medRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.07.14.20153643

Although most COVID-19 cases have occurred in low-resource countries, there is scarce information on the epidemiology of the disease in such settings. Comprehensive SARS-CoV-2 testing and contact-tracing data from the Indian states of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh reveal stark contrasts from epidemics affecting high-income countries, with 92.1% of cases and 59.7% of deaths occurring among individuals <65 years old. The per-contact risk of infection is 9.0% (95% confidence interval: 7.5-10.5%) in the household and 2.6% (1.6-3.9%) in the community. Superspreading plays a prominent role in transmission, with 5.4% of cases accounting for 80% of infected contacts. The case-fatality ratio is 1.3% (1.0-1.6%), and median time-to-death is 5 days from testing. Primary data are urgently needed from low- and middle-income countries to guide locally-appropriate control measures.

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