South Korean epidemiologists have found that people are at a greater risk of contracting the coronavirus from members of their own households than from contact outside the home.
According to Reuters, a study, which was published in the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently, looked in detail at 5 706 “index patients” who had tested positive for the coronavirus and more than 59 000 people who came into contact with them.
The findings showed that just two out of 100 infected people had caught the virus from non-household contacts, while one in 10 had contracted the disease from their own family members.
The publication also reported that the infection rate within the household was higher when the first confirmed cases were teenagers or people in their 60s and 70s.
“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, reportedly told a briefing.
Fox Business reports that the study also found that young children with Covid-19 are more likely to be asymptomatic than adults, which makes 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," Dr. Choe Young-june, a Hallym University College of Medicine assistant professor who co-led the work, said.
The data for the study was collected between 20 January and 27 March, when the new coronavirus was spreading exponentially and as daily infections in South Korea reached their peak.
In South Africa, 381 798 positive cases have been identified currently, with a total number of 5 368 deaths.