12 Nov Episode 83 Mobility and superspreading - Minks and Mustelilds - Russian vaccine

Thu, 11/12/2020 - 21:03
  1. Mobility Network model (Ep 83 ref 1 Nature 10 Nov 2020)
  • Our model predicts that a small minority of “superspreader” Points of Interest (POI e.g ) account for a large majority of infections and that restricting maximum occupancy at each POI is more effective than uniformly reducing mobility.
  • Our model also correctly predicts higher infection rates among disadvantaged racial and socioeconomic groups2–8 solely from differences in mobility: we find that disadvantaged groups have not been able to reduce mobility as sharply, and that the POIs they visit are more crowded and therefore higher-risk.

See Fig 2 D p. 8 

Note: as far as I understand, these estimates of new infections upon reopening restaurants etc do not take into account mitigating measures, such as distancing, facial masks etc.


  1. The role of minks and other mustelids: after reports of human-infected minks in the Netherlands in June (Ep. 83 ref 2-3), there was recently a similar reports from Denmark (Ep 83 ref 4) and the US (Ep 83 Ref 5).  A paper in Science investigated the outbreaks in the South-East of the NL in depth and found that they became apparent after the minks started to die, but in the meantime the minks had back-infected the farm workers and (secondarily) household contacts.  People did have symptoms, but the paper doesn’t specify whether they were seriously ill (Ep 83 ref 6).  An Editorial in a an Italian Veterinary Journal warns for the possibility that a wildlife reservoiur of SARS-CoV-2 could be established in mustelids (Ep 83 Ref 7).  But what was the animal origin of SARS-CoV-2?  Could it be mink (or other mustelid) farms in China?  We all know the story of the Wuhan market is very vague, but finally there is an agreement between Chinese and WHO officials to investigate it.  In a long article in the NYT, we learn a lot about diplomacy, but very little about virology https://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/02/world/who-china-coronavirus.html?utm_source=Nature+Briefing&utm_campaign=fc6bf4b9de-briefing-dy-20201104&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c9dfd39373-fc6bf4b9de-44799709


  1.  A brief update on the Russian vaccine.  What I remember is that they “borrowed” two principles: an Adeno5 vector from China and the Adeno 26 vector from J§J. In the last link, you find the first positive results of phase 3 announced….