You're 5 Times More Likely to Get Coronavirus Here, Study Finds
You probably thought this place was a safe haven from COVID-19.
Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, people have been demarcating areas of the country based on how "safe" they are—or in other words, how prevalent the coronavirus is and how severely it is spreading. And while experts have told us quarantining at home is safer than going out into the world, a recent study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) seems to suggest otherwise. In fact, the CDC says people are five times more likely to contract the coronavirus at home than they are in public.
The study, conducted by South Korean epidemiologists, looked at 5,706 "index" patients—those first identified to be infected with the virus—and 59,073 people who came in contact with them between Jan. 20 and Mar. 27. According to the study, 11.8 percent of "household contacts" (those who lived with an infected individual) had COVID-19, while the same was true for only 1.9 percent of "nonhousehold contacts" (those who didn't).
As noted by Reuters, the study also found that "just two out of 100 [2 percent] infected people had caught the virus from non-household contacts, while one in 10 [10 percent] had contracted the disease from their own families." That means transmission from someone in your household is five times more likely.
The study authors suspect this may be due to the fact that "personal protective measures and social distancing"—things proven to be effective methods of curbing the spread—is less common when people are in their homes.
A May study performed in Bejing, China, published by BMJ Global Health, supports the idea that people are more likely to get coronavirus at home, stating, "most of the person-to-person transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus responsible for COVID-19 infection, has occurred in families."
Additionally, the new CDC study out of South Korea found that the infection rate at home was highest when index patients were between the ages of 10 and 19, which is an important consideration in the discussion surrounding the reopening of schools in the U.S. "The role of household transmission of SARS-CoV-2 amid reopening of schools and loosening of social distancing underscores the need for a time-sensitive epidemiologic study to guide public health policy," the study authors concluded. And for more interesting infection statistics, This Is How Old Most of the People With COVID Are in Your State.