COVID-19 spreads more extensively in new study

Friday, October 30, 2020, Vol. 44, No. 44

NEW YORK CITY (AP) — The coronavirus can spread more extensively in households than previous research suggests, and kids can transmit it at about the same rate as adults do, according to a new study.

The study shows how important it is for people who test positive to isolate themselves within a home, and for them and everyone else to wear masks when they are in common areas, researchers said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the study Friday. The researchers focused on 101 households in Tennessee and Wisconsin.

In each home, after a person was diagnosed, other household members agreed to undergo nasal swab or saliva tests and kept symptom diaries. Nearly 300 people participated. About 100 were identified as the first to be infected and the other 200 people lived with them.

About 53% of the household members tested positive, and most were diagnosed within five days of the time the first person got sick. Previous studies have estimated the secondary infection rate at around half that.