This Is Who Is Most Likely to Give You COVID, New Study Says

If you're trying to avoid getting infected, you need to steer clear of these people.

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The coronavirus has continued to spread over the last year, with more than 26 million infected so far in the U.S. While many are taking measures to try to prevent themselves from getting infected, it can be hard to pinpoint exactly how you might get sick. According to new research, however, you may be able to protect yourself from COVID by staying away from the people who are most likely to spread the virus. Read on to find out which group is most likely to give you COVID, and for more ways to stay healthy, This Is Where You're Most Likely to Catch COVID, New Study Says.

Adults are the only group still significantly spreading the coronavirus.

group of 30-something friends gathering with their masks down
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Researchers from Imperial College London recently used cell phone data from more than 10 million individuals to find out who is spreading the coronavirus, and they published their findings on Feb. 2 in Science. According to the research, adults aged 20 to 49 have been the only ones significantly contributing to COVID spread in the U.S. as of Oct. 2020. In terms of cases, around 65 out of 100 COVID infections originate from those in this age group. And for more on the future of the pandemic, This Is Exactly When We'll See the Next COVID Surge, Experts Warn.

Children have accounted for very little of the spread despite school reopenings.

Teacher and students wearing masks during coronavirus pandemic back to school
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Older adults may be more vulnerable to the virus, but they are not the ones primarily spreading it. And neither are children and teens under the age of 20, despite many schools reopening in the fall of 2020. According to the study, children 9-years-old and younger contributed to less than 5 percent of spread, while those aged 10 to 19 were responsible for less than 10 percent of the spread. In comparison, adults aged 20 to 49 were responsible for 72.2 percent of COVID spread.

"While children and teens contribute more to COVID-19 spread since school closure mandates have been lifted in fall 2020, we find these dynamics have not changed substantially since school reopening," Melodie Monod, researcher and co-author of the Imperial College London study, explained in a statement. And for more up-to-date information, sign up for our daily newsletter.

The CDC recently said that schools may be safe to reopen.

group of children colouring at a table while wearing protective face masks to avoid the transfer of germs.
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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported similar data on Jan. 26. According to their findings, only 3.7 percent of cases in one case study of COVID cases among teachers, staff, and students were the result of in-school spread. The CDC even said that schools may be safe to open as long as mitigation efforts are maintained, emphasizing that children are not adding to the spread of the virus.

"Back in August and September, we did not have a lot of data on whether or not we would see the same sort of rapid spread in schools that we had seen in other high-density work sites or residential sites," Margaret Honein, PhD, a member of the CDC's COVID emergency response team, told The New York Times. "But there is accumulating data now that with high face mask compliance, and distancing and cohorting of students to minimize the total number of contacts, we can minimize the amount of transmission in schools." And for more coronavirus news, Dr. Fauci Just Issued This New Chilling Warning About COVID.

But researchers say extra prevention measures are needed among adults.

young male doctor giving young female patient covid vaccine
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According to the Imperial College London researchers, more mitigation efforts need to be targeted at those in the 20-to-49 age bracket. The study specifically referenced the need for mass vaccinations among this age group, as this "could bring resurgent COVID-19 epidemics under control." However, most states aren't vaccinating these adults unless they're also healthcare workers or other essential workers. According to a Feb. 1 report from the CDC, nearly 55 percent of vaccinations in the U.S. thus far have gone to adults older than 50 instead. And for more vaccine news, If You're Over 65, You Shouldn't Get This New Vaccine, Experts Warn.

Best Life is constantly monitoring the latest news as it relates to COVID-19 in order to keep you healthy, safe, and informed. Here are the answers to your most burning questions, the ways you can stay safe and healthy, the facts you need to know, the risks you should avoid, the myths you need to ignore,and the symptoms to be aware of. Click here for all of our COVID-19 coverage, and sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.
Kali Coleman
Kali is an assistant editor at Best Life. Read more
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