One-Fifth of the Population Spreads 80% of Certain Infectious Diseases

Superspreaders, who account for roughly 20% of the population, are more contagious than others and transmit about 80% of certain diseases, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Superspreaders, who account for roughly 20% of the population, are more contagious than others and transmit about 80% of certain diseases, The Wall Street Journal reports. This phenomenon occurred during the global SARS outbreak in 2002 and 2003.

Scientists are working to understand why some people are spread more viral and bacterial infections than others and recent experiments suggest the body's immune system not only protects against infection, but also plays a role in spreading more of pathogens to other people.

However, scientists still aren't sure which plays a bigger role in being a superspreader: behavior or immune-system response.

Read more at The Wall Street Journal: http://on.wsj.com/13fNamA