CDC Meetings and the New Normal

Last week, in response to early reports of several COVID-19 cases at a CDC conference, some asshole with a blog noted (boldface added):

But when a few people out of 2,000 get COVID, that’s not a SOOPERSPREADER EVENT11!!11, that’s the New Normal–and that’s the problem.

If you are attending a large gathering–and large is around 100 people, it’s reasonable to assume there will be one or more infected people. Based on last week’s back-to-school testathon in D.C., it’s likely that 0.5% to 0.75% people in D.C would test positive for COVID (maybe a little higher, maybe a little lower). There’s no reason to think that’s radically different from other parts of the U.S., so we should expect that, at a meeting of 2,000 people, several people would show up ‘pre-infected’ and develop COVID.

What should worry people is if dozens acquired COVID (especially towards the end of the meeting or afterwards like the ISME18 meeting in Switzerland)–that would suggest some sort of superspreader event(s) associated with the meeting. But a few infections in a large group is the new normal.

Well, you’ll never guess what happened next!

“CDC is working with the Georgia Department of Health to conduct a rapid epidemiological assessment of confirmed COVID-19 cases that appear to be connected to the 2023 EIS Conference to determine transmission patterns,” CDC spokesperson Kristen Nordlund said in an email…

Nordlund said about 35 people linked to the conference had reported testing positive as of Tuesday.

Time to worry! And you’re not the weirdo if you’re still wearing a mask.

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1 Response to CDC Meetings and the New Normal

  1. Pingback: At Least Ten Percent of Attendees Came Down with COVID at the CDC EIS Meeting | Mike the Mad Biologist

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