MERS, SARS, and Ebola: The Role of Super-Spreaders in Infectious Disease

Cell Host Microbe. 2015 Oct 14;18(4):398-401. doi: 10.1016/j.chom.2015.09.013.

Abstract

Super-spreading occurs when a single patient infects a disproportionate number of contacts. The 2015 MERS-CoV, 2003 SARS-CoV, and to a lesser extent 2014-15 Ebola virus outbreaks were driven by super-spreaders. We summarize documented super-spreading in these outbreaks, explore contributing factors, and suggest studies to better understand super-spreading.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Coronavirus Infections / epidemiology
  • Coronavirus Infections / transmission*
  • Coronavirus Infections / virology
  • Disease Outbreaks*
  • Disease Transmission, Infectious*
  • Ebolavirus / physiology
  • Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola / epidemiology
  • Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola / transmission*
  • Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola / virology
  • Humans
  • Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus / physiology
  • SARS Virus / physiology
  • Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome / epidemiology
  • Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome / transmission*
  • Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome / virology