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Abt Team to Research Various Aspects of COVID-19 Transmission

Wins $28.8M Award For Five Studies From CDC

Rockville, Md.  –  COVID-19 is a lethal global pandemic that has led to more than 300,000 deaths worldwide as of mid-May and more than 90,000 in the U.S. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is at the forefront of combatting the disease. As part of its research efforts, CDC awarded an Abt Associates-led team a two-year contract (base year plus option year) with a value of $28.8M to conduct studies of five cohorts: healthcare personnel and first responders, pregnant women and infants, middle-aged and older adults, older adults in continuing care retirement communities, and households. The studies will assess:

  • Transmissibility of infection
  • Rates of infection and illness for key population groups
  • The clinical epidemiology of the disease
  • Characteristics of medically and non-medically attended COVID-19 cases.

The Abt team will use an existing infrastructure that Abt set up in 2013 as part of an influenza pandemic preparedness strategy.  It will allow Abt to quickly begin assessing risks for and characterize disease epidemiology of COVID-19 or other novel respiratory viruses among different population cohorts. Abt will collaborate with clinical health organizations involved in previous influenza network studies and other clinical partners as needed to meet CDC’s objectives.

“COVID-19 is an insidious viral opponent,” said Danielle Hunt, Ph. D, and Project Director and CDC co-account manager. “Abt has a longstanding history of supporting CDC’s influenza research portfolio, and we are excited that our previous work has laid a foundation that enables us to start up the project rapidly and help fight this pandemic.”

Christopher Spera, Ph.D., Abt division vice president of Health & Environment, added: “The research questions we aim to answer will provide much needed data for decision-making for one of the most important public health responses of our lifetime. It will expand our understanding of this evolving pandemic, and, ultimately, save lives.” 

About Abt Associates
Abt Associates uses data and bold thinking to improve the quality of people’s lives worldwide. From increasing crop yields and combatting infectious disease, to ensuring safe drinking water and promoting access to affordable housing—and more—we partner with clients and communities to tackle their most complex challenges.

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