Background During the COVID-19 pandemic, a minority of index cases are associated with a majority of secondary cases suggesting that super-spreaders could drive the pandemic. We identified a phenotype in individuals with extremely high viral load who could act as super-spreaders.
Methods Data were analyzed from individuals tested for SARS-CoV-2 from March 18 through August 15, 2020. Outcomes were compared using contingency table and quantile regression to test the equality of medians between the pandemic waves and by viral load groups.


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Citation: Vasanthi Avadhanula, Ph.D, Erin G Nicholson, M.D, Laura Ferlic-Stark, M.S, Felipe-Andres Piedra, Ph.D, Brittani N Blunck, Sonia Fragoso, MPH, Nanette L Bond, P.A, Patricia L Santarcangelo, R.N, Xunyan Ye, PhD, Trevor J McBride, Letisha O Aideyan, Kirtida D Patel, Lauren Maurer, Laura S Angelo, Ph.D, Pedro A Piedra, M.D, Viral load of SARS-CoV-2 in adults during the first and second wave of COVID-19 pandemic in Houston, TX: the potential of the super-spreader, The Journal of Infectious Diseases, 2021;, jiab097,