People are more likely to be infected with coronavirus at home: Study

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, India Updated: Jul 21, 2020, 08:03 PM(IST)

Coronavirus in China Photograph:( AFP )

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Out of 100 infected people, just two of them had caught the virus from non-household contacts, whereas, one in 10 were infected from their own families.

People are more likely to contract the new coronavirus from members of their households than from contacts outside the home, according to South Korean epidemiologists' new study. 

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According to a study in the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 5,706 "index patients" who had tested positive for the coronavirus and more than 59,000 people who came into contact with them.

Out of 100 infected people, just two of them had caught the virus from non-household contacts, whereas, one in 10 were infected from their own families.

"This is probably because these age groups are more likely to be in close contact with family members as the group is in more need of protection or support," Jeong Eun-kyeong, director of the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) and one of the authors of the study, told a briefing.

According to Dr Choe Young-june, a Hallym University College of Medicine assistant professor who co-led the work, children under the age of nine were least likely to be the index patient. But he also noted that the sample size of 29 was small compared to the 1,695 20-to-29-year-olds studied.

Children infected with coronavirus are also more likely to be asymptomatic than adults, which made it harder to identify index cases within that group.

"The difference in age group has no huge significance when it comes to contracting COVID-19. Children could be less likely to transmit the virus, but our data is not enough to confirm this hypothesis," said Choe.

The data for this study were collected between January 20 and March 27. During this time, South Korea witnessed a peak in coronavirus cases. 

South Korea's KCDC has reported 45 new infections as of Monday, bringing the country's total cases to 13,816 with 296 deaths.

(Inputs from Reuters)

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