New studies continue shedding light on COVID-19: Social Distancing outcomes, incubation periods just a few areas of focus
A new modelling study conducted in a simulated Singapore setting has estimated that a combined approach of physical distancing interventions, comprising quarantine (for infected individuals and their families), school closure, and workplace distancing, is most effective at reducing the number of SARS-CoV-2 cases compared with other intervention scenarios included in the study.
While less effective than the combined approach, quarantine plus workplace measures presented the next best option for reducing SARS-CoV-2 cases, followed by quarantine plus school closure, and then quarantine only. All intervention scenarios were more effective at reducing cases than no intervention. Published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases journal, the study is the first of its kind to investigate using these options for early intervention in Singapore using simulation. Despite heightened surveillance and isolation of individuals suspected to have COVID-19 and confirmed cases, the risk is ongoing, with the number of cases continuing to increase in Singapore.
“Should local containment measures, such as preventing disease spread through contact tracing efforts and, more recently, not permitting short-term visitors, be unsuccessful, the results of this study provide policy makers in Singapore and other countries with evidence to begin the implementation of enhanced outbreak control measures that could mitigate or reduce local transmission rates if deployed effectively and in a timely manner,” said Dr. Alex R. Cook of the National University of Singapore. Another new medical study on the virus has shown that it takes an estimate of around 5.1 days for the median disease incubation period—from the time of exposure to showing symptoms. Understanding that timeline is extremely vital to the development and execution of effective disease containment and prevention measures.
This study, entitled “The Incubation Period of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) From Publicly Reported Confirmed Cases: Estimation and Application”, was led by researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in the United States and published in the online medical journal Annals of Internal Medicine. Its objectives were to estimate the length of the incubation period of COVID-19 and describe its public health implications.
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