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1 "Su Jin Kang"
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COVID-19: Original Article
Reconstructing a COVID-19 outbreak within a religious group using social network analysis simulation in Korea
Namje Kim, Su Jin Kang, Sangwoo Tak
Epidemiol Health. 2021;43:e2021068.   Published online September 16, 2021
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AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDF
We reconstructed a coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak to examine how a large cluster at a church setting spread before being detected and estimate the potential effectiveness of complying with mask-wearing guidelines recommended by the government.
A mathematical model with a social network analysis (SNA) approach was used to simulate a COVID-19 outbreak. A discrete-time stochastic simulation model was used to simulate the spread of COVID-19 within the Sarang Jeil church. A counterfactual experiment using a calibrated baseline model was conducted to examine the potential benefits of complying with a mask-wearing policy.
Simulations estimated a mask-wearing ratio of 67% at the time of the outbreak, which yielded 953.8 (95% confidence interval [CI], 937.3 to 970.4) cases and was most consistent with the confirmed data. The counterfactual experiment with 95% mask-wearing estimated an average of 45.6 (95% CI, 43.4 to 47.9) cases with a standard deviation of 20.1. The result indicated that if the church followed government mask-wearing guidelines properly, the outbreak might have been one-twentieth the size.
SNA is an effective tool for monitoring and controlling outbreaks of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases. Although our results are based on simulations and are thus limited, the precautionary implications of social distancing and mask-wearing are still relevant. Since person-to-person contacts and interactions are unavoidable in social and economic life, it may be beneficial to develop precise measures and guidelines for particular organizations or places that are susceptible to cluster outbreaks.
Korean summary
본 연구는 구조화된 확률적 네트워크 시뮬레이션모형을 이용하여 국내에서 발생했던 사랑제일교회 발 코로나19 집단 감염 사례의 일별 확진자 데이터를 설명하고자, 마스크 착용 비율 추정과 반사실적 실험을 통해 방역지침을 준수한 경우 발생할 수 있었을 확진자의 규모를 추정하였다. 시뮬레이션 결과 추정된 당시 사랑제일교회의 마스크 착용 비율은 약 67% 수준이며, 만약 참석자의 95%가 마스크를 착용한 경우 확진자 규모는 실제의 20분의 1 수준에 그쳤을 것으로 예상된다. 마스크 착용은 예방접종과 함께 코로나 감염증을 극복하기 위한 가장 효과적인 예방활동이며 가장 마지막까지 강조되어야 할 것이다.
Key Message
To better understand the transmission of COVID-19 in a church setting, a stochastic social network analysis with a focus on mask-wearing practice was constructed. The results showed that if mask-wearing were to increase from 67% (at the time of the outbreak) to 95%, the outbreak could have been one-twentieth the size. Among the many measures of non-pharmaceutical intervention which may be withdrawn, mask-wearing is still one of the most effective precautionary measure and should continue to be emphasized.


Citations to this article as recorded by  
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  • Mathematical Modeling of COVID-19 Transmission and Intervention in South Korea: A Review of Literature
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    Computation.2022; 10(6): 86.     CrossRef

Epidemiol Health : Epidemiology and Health