Tuesday, July 5

Birthdays are super spreaders of COVID-19 | Digital Trends Spanish


A study recently published in JAMA Network has confirmed the incidence of birthdays in the local and larger-scale spread of COVID-19 in the United States.

The authors of the report are Christopher M. Whaley, Jonathan Cantor and Megan Pera and to make the sample used administrative data of medical attention of 2.9 million homes of the first 45 weeks of 2020.

The idea was to detect in these small social gatherings the behavior of the virus in small spaces of people and how this also increases the neighboring cases in the community.

The study also compared how infection rates associated with birthdays differed by type of holiday (for example, a child’s vs. adult birthday, or a historic birthday, such as a 50th birthday), county-level precipitation on Saturday each week (which could move meetings indoors), political leanings in the county, and state shelter-in-place policies.

Charming preschool age girl celebrating her 5th birthday at home because of pandemic of COVID-19 in her country wearing mask for protection

What were the main conclusions of the investigation ?:

“Those with birthdays had 8.6 more diagnoses per 10,000 individuals compared to households without birthdays, a 31% relative increase in prevalence at the county level, an increase in COVID-19 diagnoses of 15.8 per 10,000 people after of a child’s birthday and an increase in COVID-19 diagnoses of 5.8 per 10,000 among households with an adult birthday, ”the report states.

The study authors further comment that, “to the extent that birthdays provide an important reason for people to get together; can be identified and linked to COVID-19 diagnoses in big health care administrative data; and should not be associated with the risk of COVID-19 because cases are randomly distributed among households – thus addressing the problem of confusion in who meets socially – birthdays that occur during the current COVID-19 pandemic offer an opportunity to empirically quantify the potential role of small social gatherings in the spread of COVID-19 ”.

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