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Fast Response to Superspreading: Uncertainty and Complexity in the Context of COVID-19

Although the first coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) wave has peaked with the second wave underway, the world is still struggling to manage potential systemic risks and unpredictability of the pandemic. A particular challenge is the “superspreading” of the virus, which starts abruptly, is difficult to predict, and can quickly escalate into medical and socio-economic emergencies that contribute to long-lasting crises challenging our current ways of life.

In these uncertain times, organizations and societies worldwide are faced with the need to develop appropriate strategies and intervention portfolios that require fast understanding of the complex interdependencies in our world and rapid, flexible action to contain the spread of the virus as quickly as possible, thus preventing further disastrous consequences of the pandemic.

We integrate perspectives from systems sciences, epidemiology, biology, social networks, and organizational research in the context of the superspreading phenomenon to understand the complex system of COVID-19 pandemic and develop suggestions for interventions aimed at rapid responses.


L. Zenk, G. Steiner, M. Cunha, M. Laubichler, M. Bertau, M. Kainz, C. Jäger, E. Schernhammer, Response to Superspreading: Uncertainty and Complexity in the Context of COVID-19, Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 17 (21) (2020) 7884



The project was co-funded by the Danube University Krems and the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG Project 874836, “Organizational Improvisation”).

Gerald Steiner

Eva Schernhammer

Manfred Laubichler

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