A new study has discovered that people are more likely to contract coronavirus at home from their own families.
The study conducted between January 20th and March 27th by South Korean epidemiologists was published in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on July 16th. These new findings were based on 5,706 “index patients” who had tested positive for the coronavirus and more than 59,000 people who came into contact with them at some point.
According to the study, just two out of 100 people infected had contracted the virus from non-household contacts, while one in 10 had contracted the virus from their own family members. The study also determined that the household’s infection rate was higher when the first confirmed cases were teenagers or people in their 60s and 70s.
Jeong Eun-kyeong, director of the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) and one of the authors of the study, explained this phenomenon during a briefing. “This is probably because these age groups are more likely to be in close contact with family members as the group is in more need of protection or support,” he said.
Dr. Choe Young-june, a Hallym University College of Medicine assistant professor who co-led the study, added that children under age nine were least likely to be index patients. However, the children’s sample size was just 29, which was small compared to the 1,695 20-to-29-year-olds studied. It was also harder to identify index cases in children since they are more likely to be asymptomatic than adults.
“The difference in age group has no huge significance when it comes to contracting COVID-19. Children could be less likely to transmit the virus, but our data is not enough to confirm this hypothesis,” Choe explained.
There have been over 14 million cases of the coronavirus confirmed in the world, as the deadly virus continues to wreak havoc, especially in the United States, which has seen over 143,000 deaths related to the virus.