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Being Here Puts You at "High Risk" for COVID, Says Study

You can become infected with the virus in the comfort of your own home.
Woman with face protective mask looking at phone.

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to worsen in the United States, with grim records — including hospitalizations and deaths — broken on a daily basis. Many states and cities are imposing restrictions in hopes or slowing the spread, closing bars and restaurants, and limiting capacity at various establishments. But while limiting exposure outside or the house may help quell infections, one new study has found that there is a COVID hotspot a little closer to home — more specifically, inside of it. Read on to hear the warning, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.

The Home is a Hotspot for Virus Transmission, Says the Study

According to a study published Monday in the journal JAMA Network Open, even when community spread is at a minimum, the home is a hotspot for virus transmission. Researchers analyzed 54 studies in over 20 countries and found that transmission of the virus amongst family members is all too common. "Households are and will continue to be important venues for transmission, even in areas where community transmission is reduced," researchers explained. "Crowded indoor environments, such as households, are high-risk settings for the transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)."

The people most at risk of infection inside of households are spouses of those who are infected due to sleeping in the same room, intimacy and prolonged contact. Additionally, the risk of infection increased if the infected family member was symptomatic — experiencing cough, sneezing, body aches, chills and fever — compared to those who were asymptomatic. There was a greater chance of transmission between adults than between adults and children. 

RELATED: 7 Tips You Must Follow to Avoid COVID, Say Doctors

A CDC Study Had Similar Findings

This new study parallels research recently published by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, finding that over half of people who lived with another person battling the virus became infected with it themselves within just one week—75 percent of them occurring within five days of the initial patient experiencing symptoms. Researchers also noted that less than half of infected household members experienced symptoms at the time infection was first detected.

"Many reported no symptoms throughout 7 days of follow-up, underscoring the potential for transmission from asymptomatic secondary contacts and the importance of quarantine," the CDC team reported.

The CDC suggested prompt isolation for those who begin experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and that family members should take precautionary measures.

"Household transmission of SARS-CoV-2 is common and occurs early after illness onset," they wrote. "Yep!Persons should self-isolate immediately at the onset of COVID-like symptoms, at the time of testing as a result of a high risk exposure, or at time of a positive test result, whichever comes first. All household members, including the index case, should wear masks within shared spaces in the household." So do so, and when leaving the house, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.