Analysis of SARS-CoV-2 Transmission in Different Settings, Brunei

Emerg Infect Dis. 2020 Nov;26(11):2598-2606. doi: 10.3201/eid2611.202263. Epub 2020 Oct 9.


We report the transmission dynamics of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) across different settings in Brunei. An initial cluster of SARS-CoV-2 cases arose from 19 persons who had attended the Tablighi Jama'at gathering in Malaysia, resulting in 52 locally transmitted cases. The highest nonprimary attack rates (14.8%) were observed from a subsequent religious gathering in Brunei and in households of attendees (10.6%). Household attack rates from symptomatic case-patients were higher (14.4%) than from asymptomatic (4.4%) or presymptomatic (6.1%) case-patients. Workplace and social settings had attack rates of <1%. Our analyses highlight that transmission of SARS-CoV-2 varies depending on environmental, behavioral, and host factors. We identify red flags for potential superspreading events, specifically densely populated gatherings with prolonged exposure in enclosed settings, persons with recent travel history to areas with active SARS-CoV-2 infections, and group behaviors. We propose differentiated testing strategies to account for differing transmission risk.

Keywords: Brunei; COVID-19; SARS; SARS-CoV-2; coronavirus; coronavirus disease; respiratory infections; severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2; viruses; zoonoses.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Betacoronavirus*
  • Brunei / epidemiology
  • COVID-19
  • COVID-19 Testing
  • Clinical Laboratory Techniques / statistics & numerical data
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Coronavirus Infections / diagnosis
  • Coronavirus Infections / epidemiology*
  • Coronavirus Infections / transmission
  • Disease Transmission, Infectious / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Malaysia / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pandemics
  • Pneumonia, Viral / epidemiology*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / transmission
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Travel-Related Illness