Transmission dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 in a mid-size city of China.BMC Infect Dis. 2021 Aug 10; 21(1):793.BI
An outbreak of pneumonia, COVID-19 associated with the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) emerged in Wuhan city and then rapidly spread to other cities. Wenzhou is located approximately 900 km from Wuhan, which was experiencing an outbreak that was severe at the time but is considered modest as the epidemic became a pandemic. We described the epidemiological characteristics of SARS-CoV-2 outside of the epicenter to help understand the transmission pattern in a mid-sized Chinese city.
To investigate the epidemiological and clinical characteristics of the COVID-19, we described case series of 473 patients with confirmed COVID-19 in Wenzhou, China from January 27 to March 16, 2020. We described the public health interventions of COVID-19 and evaluated the effect of interventions by the effective reproduction number (Rt).
The median age of all patients was 47.6 years, 48.4% of whom were female. 33.8% of the patients had a history of residence in Wuhan. Fever (71.7%) and cough (43.1%) were the most common symptoms. In addition, three kinds of unconventional cases were observed, namely 4.9% asymptomatic patients, 7.6% confirmed patients who had no link to Wuhan city but contact with individuals from Wuhan without any symptoms at the time of contact, and 12.9% confirmed patients who had an unknown source of transmission. We estimated that the basic reproductive number (R0) was 2.75 (95% CI: 2.37-3.23). The Rt fluctuated within the range of 2.50 to 3.74 from January 11 to January 16 while gradually reached a peak of 3.74 on January 16. Rt gradually decreased after January 16 and decreased to 1.00 on January 30. Rt continually decreased and reached the lowest point (0.03) on February 21, 2020.
Our study presented the possibility of asymptomatic carriers affected with SARS-CoV-2, and transmission by these three kinds of unconventional patients in Wenzhou may be an important characteristic of SARS-CoV-2 transmission. The evaluation showed that a series of multifaceted interventions proved effective in controlling the epidemic of COVID-19. These findings might provide valuable examples of control policies for countries or areas in combatting the global pandemic of COVID-19.