A study published in the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), authored by South Korean epidemiologists, has claimed that people are more likely to get infected from the Coronavirus from their family members than from outside their homes.
Over the course of the study which lasted from 20 January to 27 March, South Korean scientists evaluated 5,706 cases who had tested positive for COVID-19 and named them index patients. They also traced down more than 59,000 people including family (members of the household) and non-family (non-members of household) members who had any sort of contact with index patients.
According to the findings, only 2 out of 100 patients had contracted the Coronavirus after coming into contact with a non-family member.
On the other hand, the ratio of people contracting the infection from inside their homes turned out to be much higher as 1 out of 10 patients had fallen ill due to members of the household.
As far as age groups are concerned, the rate of infection within the household was considerably higher in cases where the index patients were either in their teenage or 60s or 70s.
Jeong Eun-kyeong, one of the authors of the study and Director of the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC), attributed higher rates of infection in these age groups to their need to be in close contact with family members for protection or support.
Meanwhile, children aged 9 or less were least likely to be the index patient in a household.
Although it is somewhat because children are more likely to be asymptomatic than adults which makes it difficult to determine index patients in that age group, researchers have acknowledged that evaluating only 29 children aged 9 or less does not corroborate this proposition in any way.
Dr. Choe Young-June, a Hallym University College of Medicine assistant professor, has said:
The difference in the 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.