[Nature Medicine] Clustering and superspreading potential of SARS-CoV-2 infections in Hong Kong

Nature Medicine, 17 September 2020

Dillon C. Adam, Peng Wu, Jessica Y. Wong, Eric H. Y. Lau, Tim K. Tsang, Simon Cauchemez, Gabriel M. Leung & Benjamin J. Cowling


  • Using contact tracing data from 1,038 SARS-CoV-2 cases confirmed between 23 January and 28 April 2020 in Hong Kong, the team identified and characterized all local clusters of infection.
  • Identified 4–7 Superspreading events (SSEs) across 51 clusters (n = 309 cases) and estimated that 19% (95% confidence interval, 15–24%) of cases seeded 80% of all local transmission.
  • Transmission in social settings was associated with more secondary cases than households when controlling for age.

The code used for analysis and all anonymized data collected are publicly available at

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