COVID-19 is spreading faster and further in US households than previously reported. This emerges from new preliminary research from a multicenter study conducted by researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and published in MMWR, a weekly report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The study, led by Dr. med. Carlos G. Grijalva, MPH, Associate Professor of Health Policy, and Dr. med. H. Keipp Talbot, Associate Professor of Medicine, found that 51% of the others lived at home with a positive person for COVID-19 also became infected.
We observed that multiple infections were quickly detected after the first member of the household fell ill. These infections came on quickly, regardless of whether the first sick member of the household was a child or an adult. ”
Carlos G. Grijalva, MD, MPH, Associate Professor of Health Policy
The study found that at least 75% of secondary household infections appeared within five days of the first person in the household showing symptoms.
“This preliminary investigation is the first to closely track U.S. households through systematic daily assessments and examine coronavirus transmission between groups living together under one roof,” Talbot said. “Other similar studies have largely been conducted overseas, and others have made household carryover estimates using contact tracing data.”
Similar studies in the US, Europe, and Asia have reported that 30% or fewer of household members were also infected.
Preliminary results for this ongoing study were collected from households in Nashville, Tennessee and Marshfield, Wisconsin.
The study also found that fewer than half of household members had symptoms when they first tested positive, and many reported no symptoms during the 7-day daily follow-up period.
The study results highlight the potential for transmission through symptomatic or asymptomatic contact with household members and the importance of quarantine, Grijlava said. People who have had recent close contact with an infected person, e.g. B. Household members should be quarantined at home and monitored for the development of symptoms.
As winter approaches and people spend more time indoors, it is important to prepare for possible infections at home.
“In the absence of an efficient approach to identifying infections without considering symptoms, these results suggest that imposing isolation measures immediately as soon as a person feels sick could reduce the likelihood of household transmission,” the authors concluded.
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
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