Family Healthcast: Household COVID exposure

Published: Nov. 20, 2020 at 12:42 PM CST
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HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - With increasing COVID cases there’s also a greater risk someone in your home could test positive for the coronavirus. If that happens, new evidence from the CDC shows there’s a good chance it will spread.

A new report from the Centers for Disease Control said household spread of the COVID-19 virus is common and usually happens soon after someone first becomes sick.

The study followed 101 households that started with just one confirmed case of COVID-19.

The studies said over half of people living with those patients went on to test positive, and the spread was fast.

It also said about 75 percent of infections were diagnosed within five days of the original patient’s first symptoms.

Researchers said the age of the first patient did not matter: adults, children and teens all spread the virus to others in their households.

In households where the first patient was under 12 there was spread 53 percent of the time, but the highest rate of spread was when the first patient was over 50, there it happened 62 percent of the time.

If someone in your home does show symptoms, that person should isolate to reduce the risk of spread to others.

That means using a separate bedroom and bathroom if possible. And everyone should wear masks when you’re in the same room.

Also, frequently touched common surfaces should be cleaned regularly.

Because it was common for the first infected person to spend extended time, over four hours, in the same room as other household members on the day before and after illness onset, according to the authors, isolation should begin right away even before test results are available.

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