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Most of us these days are taking every precaution possible when we step outside to reduce our risk of contracting the novel coronavirus. Given that we are living in the midst of a pandemic for over four months now, this is the least we can do.
Except, if the findings of South Korean epidemiologists are to believed then you should be taking these precautions at home too. Because according to them, people are more likely to get covid-19 from members of your household than someone outside.
Yup, your chances of getting covid-19 increase manifold if someone in the family has it
A study published by the American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on July 16 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 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 families.
By age group, 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,” explained Jeong Eun-kyeong, director of the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) and one of the authors of the study.
Here’s why we need to pay heed to these findings
While we are maintaining social distancing outside and wearing a mask at all possible occasions—at home life goes on as normal. There is no distance between members of the same family. This is understandable, but also problematic.
Since in many cases, covid-19 patients are actually asymptomatic i.e. they show no visible symptoms it can become difficult to keep yourself safe. Not to mention, maintaining distance at home when no one is showing symptoms can add fuel to the fire of mental health trauma that’s already burning in our lives.
So then what can you do in such a situation? Well, if your home so far is a covid-free zone then the only scope for the virus to enter the household is from the outside. Which is why you must ensure that whoever is stepping outside takes all the necessary precautions and that you do not fraternize with them once they are back home until they’ve cleaned themselves properly.
And when someone in the family shows any symptoms, ask them to quarantine themselves to reduce the risk of the virus spreading.
Will this ensure you never get covid-19? Unfortunately, no; because even with all the measures we’re taking there is no 100% foolproof method of prevention. But this can reduce your likelihood of getting sick at the hands of the covid-19 virus—and hence is your best bet.
(With inputs from Reuters)