Transmission dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 in a strictly-Orthodox Jewish community in the UK

CMMID COVID-19 Working Group, William Waites, Carl A.B. Pearson, Katherine M. Gaskell, Thomas House, Lorenzo Pellis, Marina Johnson, Victoria Gould, Adam Hunt, Neil R.H. Stone, Ben Kasstan, Tracey Chantler, Sham Lal, Chrissy H. Roberts, David Goldblatt, Michael Marks, Rosalind M. Eggo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Some social settings such as households and workplaces, have been identified as high risk for SARS-CoV-2 transmission. Identifying and quantifying the importance of these settings is critical for designing interventions. A tightly-knit religious community in the UK experienced a very large COVID-19 epidemic in 2020, reaching 64.3% seroprevalence within 10 months, and we surveyed this community both for serological status and individual-level attendance at particular settings. Using these data, and a network model of people and places represented as a stochastic graph rewriting system, we estimated the relative contribution of transmission in households, schools and religious institutions to the epidemic, and the relative risk of infection in each of these settings. All congregate settings were important for transmission, with some such as primary schools and places of worship having a higher share of transmission than others. We found that the model needed a higher general-community transmission rate for women (3.3-fold), and lower susceptibility to infection in children to recreate the observed serological data. The precise share of transmission in each place was related to assumptions about the internal structure of those places. Identification of key settings of transmission can allow public health interventions to be targeted at these locations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8550
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 20 May 2022

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • COVID-19/epidemiology
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Jews
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Seroepidemiologic Studies
  • United Kingdom/epidemiology


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