Secondary attack rates and determinants of Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) household transmission in Pakistan: A case-ascertained prospective, longitudinal study

Document Type



Paediatrics and Child Health


Background: Households are considered ideal settings for studying the transmission dynamics of an infectious disease.
Methods: A prospective study was conducted, based on the World Health Organization FFX protocol from October 2020 to January,2021. Household contacts of laboratory-confirmed index cases were followed up for their symptomatic history, nasal swabs for RT-PCR,and blood samples for anti-SARS CoV-2 antibodies were collected at enrollment and days 7, 14 and 28. We estimated secondary attack rate (SAR), effective household case cluster size and determinants of secondary infection among susceptible household contacts using multivariable logistic regression.
Results: We enrolled 77 index cases and their 543 contacts. Out of these, 252 contacts were susceptible at the time of enrollment. There were 77 household clusters, out of which, transmission took place in 20 (25.9%) giving rise to 34 cases. The acquired secondary attack rate (SAR) was 14.0% (95% CI 9.0-18.0). The effective household case cluster size was 0.46 (95%CI 0.33,0.56). Reported symptoms of nausea and vomiting (aOR, 7.9; 95% CI, 1.4-45.5) and fatigue (aOR, 9.3; 95% CI, 3.8-22.7) were associated with SARS-CoV-2 transmission.
Conclusions: We observed a low SARS-CoV-2 secondary attack rate in the backdrop of high seroprevalence and asymptomatic transmission among households in Karachi, Pakistan.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Journal of Infection and Public Health