This Is Who's Most Likely to Give You Coronavirus, CDC Says

A new report shows that the person who's most likely to pass the virus on is probably this age.

When it comes to taking precautions against coronavirus, there's plenty we do when we go out into the world. But even though putting on a face mask and social distancing might be incredibly effective at slowing the spread of the virus in public, there's a very good chance you're not looking for the dangers that exist in the one space you consider safe, your home. And according to a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the people who are most likely to give you coronavirus are probably children or adolescents who you share a house with. Read on to learn more, and for another sign you need to know, find out The Silent Symptom That Means You Likely Have COVID.

The CDC's warning comes on the heels of a recently published report that examined the case of a 13-year-old girl who became infected with coronavirus before attending a long family gathering, where 14 relatives shared a five-bedroom summer house. None of the guests at the home practiced social distancing or wore face masks—which resulted in 11 of the girl's relatives catching the virus, The New York Times reports.

three teenagers watching tv together

The report also highlights that the teenage patient took a rapid antigen test to clear herself before visiting family. Not only did the test yield a false negative result, but the only symptom she experienced was mild nasal congestion, leaving her unaware she was contagious and spreading coronavirus to her relatives.

The study concluded that the scenario represented an all too common pathway for COVID transmission. "This outbreak highlights several important issues," Noah G. Schwartz, MD, lead author of the report wrote. "First, children and adolescents can serve as the source for COVID-19 outbreaks within families, even when their symptoms are mild."

This report comes after weeks of debate swirled around the reopening of schools and whether children were capable of spreading the disease despite rarely becoming ill. But recent studies indicate that not only are children and young adults loaded with the virus while often asymptomatic, they are also responsible for passing the disease along to more at-risk segments of the population, including older relatives. Even worse, one recent study from the American Academy of Pediatrics found that children represent one of the fastest-growing demographics for infection.

"[This CDC report] re-emphasizes the importance of basic public health precautions, even with people we know and love," Megan L. Ranney, MD, a professor of emergency medicine at Brown University, told The New York Times.

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The study also emphasizes the importance of following health guidelines at home, too. Research out of China published in BMJ Global Health in May found that wearing a mask at home was nearly 80 percent effective at curbing the spread of coronavirus among family members, as long as they wore masks before anyone developed symptoms. "Face mask use by the primary case and family contacts before the primary case developed symptoms was 79 percent effective in reducing transmission," the researchers note. And for more tips on curbing COVID, check out This One Item in Your Junk Drawer Could Be the Answer to Stopping COVID.

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Zachary Mack
Zach is a freelance writer specializing in beer, wine, food, spirits, and travel. He is based in Manhattan. Read more
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