According to a recent study, COVID-19 spreads more often in US households than is thought.
The study is published Friday (October 30) in the journal Weekly reports on morbidity and mortality, involving 191 people in Tennessee and Wisconsin, who lived with someone recently diagnosed with COVID-19. Of these, 102 were infected within seven days of joining the study, with a “secondary infection rate” of 53%. (The secondary infection rate is the percentage of those exposed to COVID-19 since the first case.)
About 75% of these secondary infections occur within five days of the first family member becoming ill.
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Lead author of the study, Dr. Carlos Grijalva, professor of Health Policy at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, said: “We observed that, after a first member of the family Family fell ill, some infections were caught quickly in the family. said in a statement.
Other studies are under consideration transmission of COVID-19 In households – mainly conducted in Europe and Asia – have found secondary infection rates of 30% or less. But the new study, conducted between April and September, is one of the first to systematically look at COVID-19 transmission in US households, with participants being check COVID-19 daily.
Part of the reason for the higher prevalence of secondary infections in the new study than previously reported, the authors said, may be due to the study using rigorous methods and monitoring of family contact. Additionally, studies in other countries may have lower secondary rates of infection because people in those countries dress faster. mask in their own home when another family member becomes ill. (Traditionally using a mask when sick is not a part of it American culture, while it’s in some other countries.)
Research also shows that “significant transmission” occurs regardless of whether the first family case (known as the index case) is a child or an adult.
Indeed, in the households with the index case below 12 years old, the secondary infection rate is 53%; and in households where the patient was between the ages of 18 and 49, the secondary infection rate was 55%, the report found.
“Infection happens quickly, whether the first member of the household that becomes sick is an adult,” Grijalva said.
What’s more, less than half of family members have symptoms at the time they test positive for COVID-19, and 18% still no symptoms for seven days of study. The finding underscores the need to isolate people if they come into close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19, the authors say.
Overall, “people who suspect they may be infected with COVID-19 should stay isolated, stay at home and use their own bedrooms and bathrooms if feasible,” the report said. This isolation should begin even before a person is tested or received their results. Also, all family members should start wearing masks in their homes, especially in common spaces where limit social exposure the authors said it was not possible.
The authors note that their study was conducted in two US cities – Nashville, Tennessee and Marshfield, Wisconsin – and the families in the study may not be representative of the general US population.
Originally published on Live Science.