Study: 50% of infected people are infected in their family


Berlin doctors treat a Covid 19 patient.

Berlin doctors treat a Covid 19 patient.

REUTERS / Fabrizio Bensch / Photo file

Every second person living with a person with Covid-19 will test positive for the coronavirus within a week.

This is proven by a study by the US Agency for Disease Control CDC.

The study authors recommend that all people who suspect they have been infected with the new coronavirus should isolate themselves from other roommates at home.

In your own family, the risk of contracting the new type of coronavirus is particularly high if you live with a sick person. Furthermore, the infection is usually very rapid. This is suggested by a report released Friday by the US agency for disease control Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The study has been conducted in more than 100 families in Nashville, Tennessee and Marshfield, Wisconsin, since April. The results show that about half (53%) of the study participants who lived with someone who had Covid-19 fell ill within a week. 75% of these secondary cases tested positive for the virus within five days or less of the daily self-administered tests.

“People who suspect they have Covid-19 should isolate themselves, stay at home and, if possible, use a separate bedroom and bathroom,” the study authors write in their report. They point out that isolation should begin as soon as a person suspects they are sick, even before tests are performed.

It is dangerous to be in the same room with a sick person

In the study, most of the sick patients reported that the day before they felt uncomfortable, they spent many hours (four or more) in the same room with the people they lived with. Health experts suggest that this presymptomatic period is precisely the time when infected people are most contagious.

“Because the disease can spread right now, it’s so contagious,” said Mike Ryan, executive director of health emergencies at the World Health Organization (WHO), in June. “That’s why it’s spreading around the world in such an uncontrolled way.”

Another factor that contributes to this: the air flow. Coronavirus spreads well among people close to each other in closed, poorly ventilated environments. It therefore seems logical that people are infected with others who live, breathe, sleep and eat every day.

“We know the greatest risk lies in these enclosed interior spaces,” University of Maryland virologist Don Milton previously told Business Insider. However, as the CDC study authors noted, it is always possible that some of the participants were infected differently.

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According to the study, 40 percent of sick patients slept in the same room as someone else in their family before they knew they were sick. The ages of the study participants ranged from less than 12 years to more than 50 years. It was possible for family members to drop out of the study, which “happened but only rarely,” study author Melissa Rolfes told Business Insider in an email.

Only 40% of the roommates showed symptoms when they got the positive test result

The study authors also suggest that both the patient and all family members should start wearing masks as soon as they believe they have the virus, “especially in common areas where adequate distancing is not possible.” You may also be able to open some windows (if it’s not too cold) or turn on some fans to improve air circulation and blow out virus particles.

If you live with someone who has the virus, you should also stay away from others who don’t live in your family for two weeks. Because it is possible that you have contracted the virus without knowing it and that you can pass it on to others. In fact, in the study, only 40 percent of sick patients’ roommates experienced symptoms when their infection was first detected by a test.

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This text has been translated from English and edited. You can find the original version here.

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