Non-pharmaceutical interventions can shorten the time between infections with COVID-19
In epidemiology, the “serial interval” is the length of time between the onset of symptoms of two individuals in a transmission chain where one infects the other. In an article published in Science, HKU SPH researchers have shown that average serial intervals of COVID-19 can be shortened by non-pharmaceutical interventions, particularly isolation of cases. This finding is important as changing serial intervals over time can affect the accurate estimation of effective reproduction numbers (Rt), which is a measure of transmissibility of COVID-19 that is being used to assess the growth of an epidemic. In this study, the authors showed that longer effective serial intervals were associated with longer delay of case isolation, suggesting that earlier case isolation may reduce the likelihood of further transmission.
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