- A new CDC study suggests that it is very easy to get a coronavirus from someone who lives in your household.
- The report shows that approximately half (53%) of respondents who lived with a COVID-1
- Diseases are transmitted quickly, with 75% of infections transmitted within five days.
- The study’s authors say people “who suspect they may have COVID-19 should isolate themselves, stay home and use a separate bedroom and bathroom if possible.”
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A report by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), released on Friday, suggests that getting a coronavirus from someone you live with can be quick and easy, regardless of age.
The study, which was conducted by more than 100 households in Nashville, Tennessee and Marshfield, Wisconsin, in April, found that approximately half (53%) of study participants living with a sick person tested positive for COVID-19, a disease caused by coronavirus have been eradicated within a week. 75% of these secondary cases were tested positive for the virus within five days or less, according to their daily self-administration tests.
“People who suspect they may have COVID-19 should isolate themselves, stay at home and use a separate bedroom and bathroom, if possible,” the study authors wrote in their report, stressing that insulation should start as soon as the person suspects they may be ill, 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 spent many hours (four or more) together in the same room with the people they live with before they began to feel unwell. This pre-symptomatic period is exactly when health experts suspect that people with the virus are the most contagious.
“This is because the disease can spread at this point that the disease is so contagious,” said Mike Ryan, executive director of the World Health Organization for Emergencies. “That’s why it’s spreading around the world in such an unperturbed way.”
Gallery: If you have these COVID symptoms, you may not recover (ETNT Health)
Another factor working against people who share a home with sick patients is airflow. The coronavirus spreads well among people who are indoors and gather close to each other in poorly ventilated areas, so it makes sense for people to become infected from those they live with, breathe, sleep with and eat every day.
“We know that the biggest risk is these closed internal environments,” University of Maryland virologist Don Milton told Insider earlier.
(However, as the study authors note, it is always possible that some of the participants became infected in another way.)
In the study, 40% of sick patients slept in the same room as another person in their household before realizing they were ill. The age of the participants in the study varies from younger than 12 to older than 50 years. It was possible for household members to drop out of the study, which “happened but rarely,” study author Melissa Rolfes told Insider in an email.
Put on masks if you need to share a place with sick people at home
The study’s authors suggest that both the sick person and all people in the household should start wearing masks as soon as they think they may have the virus, “especially in shared areas where proper distance is not possible.” open some windows (if it is not too cold) or move 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 have not lived in your house for two weeks in quarantine. This is because it is possible that you may have contracted the virus and be able to spread it to other people without ever knowing that you are contagious. In fact, in the study, only 40% of the roommates of sick patients who subsequently became ill had any symptoms when their infection was first detected by a test.
“Usually, if you had to develop symptoms, it would be between, say, two and 12 days,” said Dr. Rishi Desai, chief medical officer at Osmosis and a former CDC intelligence officer.