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COVID-19 Can Spread In A Household, Claims Study
Boldsky | 25th Nov, 2020 11:56 PM

As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to loom, researchers and health experts are ceaselessly working towards understanding SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the coronavirus infection. With the numbers surging, reporting at least 9,222,200 confirmed cases in the nation; as of Wednesday morning, 134,699 people had died [1].

The holiday season is around the corner, and as the restrictions have been loosened in many parts of the state, life has somewhat gone back to normal (at least for some people). While there could be no cases or a reduction in the number of cases, the risk of infection is still prevalent [2].

While you are bracing yourself and your family for the 'holiday' season, of course, there are several changes, and this year and holidays are definitely going to be different; we witnessed that during Diwali.

In a recent study by a group of researchers from the Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Tennessee it was pointed out that the spread of Covid-19 among members in a household after one person is infected is common and occurs quickly after illness onset [3]. The same was previously mentioned by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [4].

Living With A COVID Positive Person Increases Your Risk Of Infection

While previous studies have explored the possibilities of risk of infection within a household, the study led by Dr. Carlos Grijalva and Dr. H. Keipp Talbot claimed that over 50 per cent of people living with someone with a SARS-CoV-2 infection contracted the virus themselves [5].

The study also pointed out that individuals who contracted the virus from someone in their household contracted the virus within 5 days of the first household member getting sick. The study further stated that "The virus is actively spreading in several communities, and we may inadvertently allow the virus into our households. We now know that when someone brings the infection into the household, around 50 per cent of household members will get infected, and those infections will occur very quickly" [6].

Lack Of Social Life And Mental Exhaustion Cited As Reasons

Although people around the globe had completely relaxed their social activities, the seemingly incessant stride of the coronavirus infection has caused people to break out of the nine-month lockdown, which the researchers have linked to lack of social connections, essentially resulting in pandemic fatigue [7].

Pandemic fatigue is defined as the act of people relaxing the health and safety behaviours to prevent the coronavirus transmission, as reports suggest that a majority of the global population is tired of the restrictive life, which (looks like it) has no near end in sight.

As the holidays nearing, there is a surge in pandemic fatigue and health experts suggest shifting to a harm reduction model instead [8]. Harm reduction models are behaviours and approaches used to manage behaviours such as recreational drug use and sexual activity [9].

In the case of managing Covid-19, the harm reduction model can help in managing the risk of infection, such as following certain safety measures and avoiding close contact.

How To Practice Harm Reduction Model During COVID-19 Pandemic?

By planning in advance for the holidays, you can reduce the risk of infection. Some pointers by health experts to reduce risk are as follows [10]:

• Keep activities outside, such as eating in a comfy open place in your house

• Plan places in a well-ventilated environment

• Limit the number of guests

• Ensure physical distancing

On A Final Note...

Do keep in mind that person-to-person transmission is the most common way Covid-19 is transmitted. With the holidays around the corner, the risk of infection can increase, so it is extremely important that you celebrate the holidays responsibly.

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