Coronavirus spread within households is common, and “substantial transmission” occurs from both children and adults, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Health officials have been warning about virus transmission occurring inside homes. Dr. Deborah Birx, White House coronavirus task force coordinator, for instance, has warned that coronavirus-related closures of public places won’t stop virus spread in this phase of the pandemic, where at-home gatherings are contributing to cases, reported the Chicago Tribune.
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Also, Dr. Allison Arwady, commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health, has said: “In fact where we see the spread of COVID-19 is where we let down our guard, where we literally let down our mask because we feel comfortable with those we love, but the virus is just looking for opportunities to spread.”
In its latest report, the CDC assessed 101 households in Nashville, Tenn., and Marshfield, Wis., from April to September. The households included 101 index patients (or the believed source of infection) and 191 household contacts. These people took self-samples for the virus everyday for two weeks.
Over half (53%) of all household contacts were infected and “secondary infections occurred rapidly, with approximately 75% of infections identified within 5 days of the index patient’s illness onset,” the health agency wrote.
Younger index patients aged 12 to 17 years infected about 38% of household contacts, according to the data.
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To lower the risk of virus spread at home, the CDC recommends isolating immediately upon coronavirus-like symptoms, testing positive, or testing due to high-risk exposure, whichever happens first. Also, everyone should wear masks in shared spaces at home.
Members of the same household should use separate bedrooms and bathrooms if possible, the CDC wrote. Finally, a significant number of infected people in the study were asymptomatic, which further emphasizes the importance of isolation, the agency wrote.
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- A new CDC study suggests it’s very easy to get the coronavirus from someone who’s living in your household.
- The report showed that roughly half (53%) of people surveyed who were living with a COVID-19 positive person wound up sick within a week, according to their daily self-administered tests.
- Illnesses were transmitted quickly, with 75% of infections being passed along in five days.
- The study authors said that people “who suspect that they might have COVID-19 should isolate, stay at home, and use a separate bedroom and bathroom if feasible.”
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A US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report released Friday suggests that getting the coronavirus from someone you live with can be quick and easy, no matter their age.
The study, which is ongoing in over 100 households in Nashville, Tennessee and Marshfield, Wisconsin since April, found that roughly half (53%) of study participants living with a sick person who tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, wound up sick themselves within a week. 75% of those secondary cases tested positive for the virus within five days or less, according to their daily, self-administered tests.
“Persons who suspect that they might have COVID-19 should isolate, stay at home, and use a separate bedroom and bathroom if feasible,” the study authors wrote in their report, stressing that isolation should start as soon as the person suspects that they might be sick, even before any testing is done.
Being in the same room with a sick person is dangerous
In the study, most sick patients said they had spent many hours (four or more) together in the same room with the people they live with on the day before they started feeling unwell. That pre-symptomatic period is exactly when health experts suspect that people with the virus are at their most infectious.
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“It’s because the disease can spread at that moment that the disease is so contagious,” the World Health Organization’s Executive Director of Health Emergencies, Mike Ryan, said earlier this year. “That’s why it’s spread around the world in such an uncontained way.”
Another factor working against people who share a home with sick patients: airflow. The coronavirus spreads well between people who are indoors, and gathered close together, in poorly-ventilated spaces, so it makes sense that people would be getting infected from those they live, breathe, sleep, and eat with every day.
“We know that the biggest risk is these closed, indoor environments,” University of Maryland virologist Don Milton previously told Insider.
(However, as the study authors noted, it is always possible that some of the participants might’ve gotten infected in some other way.)
In the study, 40% of sick patients were sleeping in the same room as another person in their household, before they
By Dennis Thompson HealthDay Reporter
FRIDAY, Oct. 30, 2020 (HealthDay News) — COVID-19 can spread through a family like wildfire, frequently infecting other people in a household within days of someone carrying the coronavirus home with them, new research shows.
More than half of people in households with COVID-19 patients wound up contracting the virus themselves, usually within five days of the first patient developing symptoms, according to findings from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The study tracked 101 people initially diagnosed with COVID-19 in the cities of Nashville, Tenn., and Marshfield, Wis., between April and September, according to a report published Oct. 30 in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
Those initial patients lived with a total 191 other people in their households, and researchers took specimens from the others in the house to track the infectiousness of the COVID-19 coronavirus.
Out of those 191 secondary household contacts, 102 tested positive for the coronavirus — about 53%, the researchers said.
Three out of four (75%) of these secondary infections occurred within five days of the first person falling ill. During seven days of follow-up, two-thirds (67%) of infected household members reported symptoms of COVID-19.
“We observed that after a first household member became sick, several infections were rapidly detected in the household,” lead researcher Dr. Carlos Grijalva, an associate professor of health policy at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, said in a university news release. “Those infections occurred fast, whether the first sick household member was a child or an adult.”
The age of the first patient didn’t seem to make much difference in whether or how rapidly COVID-19 spread through a home, researchers found. Of the initial patients, 14 were age 17 and younger, 65 were between 19 and 40, and 22 were 50 or older.
“Understanding that children may also serve as a vector within a household was an important finding to emerge from this CDC report,” said Dr. Robert Glatter, an emergency physician with Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.
About 70% of the initial COVID-19 patients reported spending more than four hours in the same room with one or more household members the day before they fell ill, and 40% said they spent as much time in the same room with others even after developing symptoms.
Similarly, 40% of the first patients said they slept in the same room with at least one other person before they developed COVID-19, and 30% did so after they fell ill.
The data highlight the risk of asymptomatic transmission of COVID-19, the researchers said. Fewer than half of household members with confirmed infections reported symptoms at the time they tested positive, and about a third reported no symptoms during seven days of follow-up.
“These findings suggest that transmission of SARS-CoV-2 within households is high, occurs quickly and can originate from both children and adults,” the researchers concluded.
“Recognizing the home as a potential source of spread is vital to controlling the