Research Article

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

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Science  30 Sep 2020:
eabd7672
DOI: 10.1126/science.abd7672

Abstract

Although most COVID-19 cases have occurred in low-resource countries, little is known about the epidemiology of the disease in such contexts. Data from the Indian states of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh provide a detailed view into SARS-CoV-2 transmission pathways and mortality in a high-incidence setting. Reported cases and deaths have been concentrated in younger cohorts than expected from observations in higher-income countries, even after accounting for demographic differences across settings. Among 575,071 individuals exposed to 84,965 confirmed cases, infection probabilities ranged from 4.7-10.7% for low-risk and high-risk contact types. Same-age contacts were associated with the greatest infection risk. Case-fatality ratios spanned 0.05% at ages 5-17 years to 16.6% at ages ≥85 years. Primary data are urgently needed from low-resource countries to guide control measures.

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