What started as the preliminary analysis of routine laboratory data has since evolved into the largest-ever study of viral load levels in patients with SARS-CoV-2. A team of researchers from Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin have now analyzed the PCR samples of more than 25,000 persons with COVID-19. Working under the leadership of Prof. Dr. Christian Drosten, the team determined the viral loads of each individual sample and used their results to estimate levels of infectiousness. The research, which has been published in Science, provides a clear idea of the infectiousness of the disease in different age groups and at different levels of disease severity. It also provides new insights into the B.1.1.7 variant.