During a week in which doctors, experts, governors and the Coronavirus Task Force have warned that COVID is spreading indoors among families, the CDC has just released a report confirming that household spread was common and quick anong the families it studied. “Household transmission of SARS-CoV-2 is common and occurs early after illness onset. Persons should self-isolate immediately at the onset of COVID-like symptoms, at the time of testing as a result of a high risk exposure, or at time of a positive test result, whichever comes first,” the authors reported on October 30th. “All household members, including the index case, should wear masks within shared spaces in the household.” Read on to find out how to keep your family safe, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure Signs You’ve Already Had Coronavirus.
The CDC Found the Virus Spreads Quickly Within Households
It can take less than a week for one family member to give the virus ot another, and age didn’t seem to matter. “Approximately 75% of secondary infections were identified within 5 days of the index patient’s illness onset, and substantial transmission occurred whether the index patient was an adult or a child,” reports the CDC.
“The research, part of an ongoing CDC-supported study, followed 101 people initially infected with Covid-19 in Nashville, Tennessee, and Marshfield, Wisconsin, between April and September,” reports CNN. “Along with some 191 others who lived in their households, the infected people were trained to self-collect specimens — nasal swabs only or nasal swabs and saliva samples — each day for 14 days. In addition, each person completed a symptom diary.”
What the CDC found was that separating family members from one another when infected may be the only way to prevent household spread.
“Because prompt isolation of persons with COVID-19 can reduce household transmission, persons who suspect that they might have COVID-19 should isolate, stay at home, and use a separate bedroom and bathroom if feasible,” advises the agency. “Isolation should begin before seeking testing and before test results become available because delaying isolation until confirmation of infection could miss an opportunity to reduce transmission to others. Concurrently, all household members, including the index patient, should start wearing a mask in the home, particularly in shared spaces where appropriate distancing is not possible.”
Additionally, the suspected patient isn’t the only one who should quarantine. “Close household contacts of the index patient should also self-quarantine, to the extent possible, particularly staying away from those at higher risk of getting severe COVID-19. To complement these measures within the household, a potential approach to reduce SARS-CoV-2 transmission at the community level would involve detecting infections before onset of clinical manifestations; this would require frequent and systematic testing in the community with rapidly available results to enable prompt adoption of preventive measures.”
How to Avoid COVID-19
Although communities aren’t there yet with testing, “the feasibility and practicality of this approach is undergoing extensive discussion and study. This ongoing household transmission study will provide critical data regarding the recommended timing and frequency of testing.”
“These findings suggest that transmission of SARS-CoV-2 within households is high, occurs quickly, and can originate from both children and adults,” concludes the CDC. “Prompt adoption of disease control measures, including self-isolating at home, appropriate self-quarantine of household contacts, and all household members wearing a mask in shared spaces, can reduce the probability of household transmission.”
No matter your situation at home, wear a face mask, practice social distancing, avoid crowds, wash your hands frequently, and to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don’t miss these 35 Places You’re Most Likely to Catch COVID.