Royal Society publishes rapid review of the science of infection and COVID-19

22 December 2020

Available data from UK sources highlights both the importance of the household as a site of secondary transmission and the dynamic nature of where people get infected as season and social distancing measures change over time and space, according to a review carried out by the Royal Society’s SET-C (Science in Emergencies Tasking: COVID-19) group.

The review also shows that any conclusions about how index cases that introduce infection into households acquire the infection are weak, due to the fact that data is very limited. It calls for more and better small scale, highly focussed studies and timely, detailed analyses of what is revealed in the national test, trace and isolate systems

The paper SARS-CoV-2: Where Do People Acquire Infection and ‘Who Infects Whom’? (PDF) is published today. It was shared with the Government’s Scientific Advisory Group on Emergencies on 4 December and updated on 14 December.

This review was compiled by Professor Sir Roy Anderson FMedSci FRS, Dr Carolin Vegvari and Rosie Maddren from Imperial College London and Dr Rebecca Baggaley from the University of Leicester for SET-C of the Royal Society.