Health

Scientists identify unique patterns in Covid-19 transmission in India

Upadated – 01 October 2020 | 12:30 PM IST

Researchers, including those from the govt of Tamil Nadu, and Andhra Pradesh, have conducted one among the most important analysis of Covid-19 epidemiology so far, and have found that both cases and deaths thanks to the disease are more heavily concentrated within the 40-69 year age bracket in India than is seen in high-income countries, among other trends.

The study, published within the journal Science on Wednesday, assessed the disease transmission patterns in 5,75,071 individuals exposed to 84,965 confirmed cases of Covid-19 within the two states supported data collected by tens of thousands of contact tracers. consistent with the scientists, including Ramanan Laxminarayan from the middle for Disease Dynamics, Economics, and Policy in New Delhi, the findings offer a peek into the pandemic’s trajectory during a low- and middle-income country, where most Covid-19 cases have occurred.

Based on the info, the scientists said both cases and deaths within the two Indian states were concentrated in younger cohorts than expected from observations in higher-income countries. The study noted that contacts with an equivalent age were related to the best infection risk – a pattern, which the researchers said, was strongest among children between 0-14 years aged, and among adults older than 65 years.

They said the proportion of deaths to the number of infected people, referred to as the case-fatality ratio (CFR), spanned 0.05 percent at ages 5-17 years to 16.6 percent at ages exceeding 85. The researchers also noted that Covid-19 patients within the two states have a median stay of 5 days within the hospital before death compared to 13 days to die from the date of hospital admission within the US.

Follow-up testing of exposed contacts revealed that 70 percent of infected individuals didn’t infect any of their contacts, while 8 percent of coronavirus positive patients accounted for 60 percent of observed new infections. The researchers said this finding presents the most important empirical demonstration of superspreading. They said the findings “may indicate the identification of less-severe infections through active case-finding.”

Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu are among the Indian states with the most important healthcare workforce and public health expenditures per capita, and are known for his or her effective primary health care delivery models, the study noted. It said 63 percent of these who died had a minimum of one co-morbidity, and 36 percent had two or more underlying health conditions that made them more vulnerable to the disease. About 45 percent of these who died were diabetic, the scientists said. Unlike observations in high-income countries, they said the deaths in India are concentrated at ages 50-64 years.

In the two Indian states especially, they said only 17.9 percent of Covid-19 deaths occurring on or before 1 August 2020 was among people older than 75, compared with 58.1 percent of deaths thanks to the disease within the US. “This study was made possible by the many contact tracing effort in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, which involved tens of thousands of healthcare workers,” Laxminarayan said.

“The results on disease transmission and mortality have the potential to tell policy to fight Covid-19. The study also speaks to the capacity of research emerging from India to assist inform the worldwide response to Covid-19,” he added.

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