Title: Modelling the potential role of super spreaders on COVID-19 transmission dynamics

Authors: Josiah Mushanyu; Williams Chukwu; Farai Nyabadza; Gift Muchatibaya

Addresses: Department of Mathematics and Computational Sciences, University of Zimbabwe, P.O. Box MP 167, Mount Pleasant, Harare, Zimbabwe ' Division of Infectious Diseases and Global Public Health, University of California San Diego, San Diego, CA, USA ' Department of Mathematics and Applied Mathematics, University of Johannesburg, Auckland Park, 2006, South Africa ' Department of Mathematics and Computational Sciences, University of Zimbabwe, P.O. Box MP 167, Mount Pleasant, Harare, Zimbabwe

Abstract: Superspreading phenomenon has been observed in many infectious diseases and contributes significantly to public health burden in many countries. Superspreading events have recently been reported in the transmission of the COVID-19 pandemic. The present study uses a set of nine ordinary differential equations to investigate the impact of superspreading on COVID-19 dynamics. The model developed in this study addresses the heterogeineity in infectiousness by taking into account two forms of transmission rate functions for superspreaders based on clinical (infectivity level) and social or environmental (contact level). The basic reproduction number has been derived and the contribution of each infectious compartment towards the generation of new COVID-19 cases is ascertained. Data fitting was performed and parameter values were estimated within plausible ranges. Numerical simulations performed suggest that control measures that decrease the effective contact radius and increase the transmission rate exponent will be greatly beneficial in the control of COVID-19 in the presence of superspreading phenomena.

Keywords: COVID-19; superspreaders; model analysis; numerical simulations.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMMNO.2022.10043816

International Journal of Mathematical Modelling and Numerical Optimisation, 2022 Vol.12 No.2, pp.191 - 209

Received: 20 Apr 2021
Accepted: 20 Aug 2021

Published online: 08 Mar 2022 *

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