Investigation of a COVID-19 outbreak in Germany resulting from a single travel-associated primary case: a case series

Paper describes 1st reported cluster of COVID-19 cases with human-to-human transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in Europe and outside Asia. Outbreak resulted in 16 cases, comprising 4 generations of virus transmission in only 16 days, corresponding to median incubation period of 4 days.

SPS commentary:

Commentary notes that the main lessons to be learned from the analysis of this outbreak are that:


  • the study allows some conclusions on the infectivity of the virus in relation to the intensity of contacts.


  • SARS-CoV-2 could readily be isolated from throat swabs in all but one patient, who exhibited two negative tests initially.


  • SARS-CoV-2 can be transmitted very early in the course of the disease, when patients have only mild or even no symptoms.


It suggests that this study elegantly shows that a thorough description and analysis of early outbreak events of COVID-19 can be very valuable to improve understanding of transmission dynamics and for applying appropriate infection control measures.


The Lancet Infectious Diseases

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