[Seminar] "Asymptomatic: How Deciphering the Silent Spread of COVID-19 Can Help Prevent Pandemics to Come" by Prof. Joshua Weitz.
Joshua Weitz, Professor of Biology
Clark Leadership Chair in Data Analytics University of Maryland
Asymptomatic: How Deciphering the Silent Spread of COVID-19 Can Help Prevent Pandemics to Come
Infections with SARS-CoV-2 are often mild or even asymptomatic. Yet, it is precisely because infections by SARS-CoV-2 so often manifests itself with mild symptoms or no symptoms at all that the pandemic has been so hard to control. On the one hand, the existence of asymptomatic infections may suggest that SARS-CoV-2 should not lead to a severe outbreak. But, individuals who are asymptomatic can nonetheless transmit an infection to others. And because they are asymptomatic, they are less likely to be aware that they are infected, less likely to take protective measures, and more likely to interact with more people while infectious. This talk focuses on the development and interpretation of simple epidemic models that incorporate behavioral differences associated with asymptomatic vs. symptomatic transmission. In doing so, I also identify challenges in developing intervention frameworks required to address asymptomatic transmission to help prevent pandemics to come.
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