Sadly, Melbourne is under COVID-19 lockdown for the second time.
This excellent article explaining how viruses spread revealed the DOTS framework to reduce contagion:
The key metric to measure contagion is R0, the reproduction number. It represents the additional cases created by each infected person.
According to the book’s author, a mathematician, there are four things that influence the value of that number, and understanding those four processes can reveal a lot about how different kinds of outbreaks work.
He calls the framework: DOTS
- First of all, the duration of infection. How long is someone spreading contagion for?
- But it’s also the opportunities for spread during that period. How many interactions do they have, how many others might they have exposed?
- Then it’s also the transmission probability during each of those interactions. To give an example with COVID, you might have a conversation with someone, but depending on whether you’re wearing a mask or not, that might change the transmission probability.
- And then the final component is susceptibility—that we might have a situation where people are interacting, that they’re not having any protective measures during this interaction. But if people are vaccinated, then that’s not a problem. It turns out that if we multiply these components together we get the value of the reproduction number.
We can all do our share to address each of those four DOTS to reduce transmission and get COVID back under control.