With new positives data skyrocketing across the country, secondary infections by Covid-19 that occur in homes pose the greatest danger to at-risk patients.
In many cases, people who have managed to evade the coronavirus by maintaining preventive measures they can end up being infected by their partners.
A new study carried out in China with data from the beginning of the pandemic in Wuhan has concluded that children and adolescents – under 20 years of age – are, to a greater extent, those who carry the disease to the family nucleus and spread it, especially when they have not yet developed symptoms, mostly in their relatives over 60 years of age and in babies.
“Using a statistical transmission model, we have concluded that individuals over 60 are more likely to be infected than the younger population”, Explain the scientists in the conclusions of their article, published this Monday in The Lancet. “Also, children and adolescents are more likely to infect others than older age groups.”
With a mask, indoors
Researchers have analyzed the household transmission of all the nearly 30,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19 registered with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Wuhan between December 2, 2019 and April 18, 2020.
By applying a statistical transmission model, they have determined that positives younger than 20 years were about 60% more likely to infect others than cases older than 60 years.
Given the difficulty of keeping the virus out of homes where young people live with potential risk patients, experts recommend the application of the same preventive measures that are carried out abroad, also inside homes, including the use of a mask at all times.
“It seems that preventive measures are not enough outside of what the cohabitants are, but it would even have to be raised within the home “, states Dr. Jesús Molina Cabrillana, spokesman for the Spanish Society of Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology (Seimc).
“The use of mask I find it very interesting in the context of those homes where there are susceptible people, such as the elderly or chronic patients, with underlying pathologies, etc. ”, adds Cabrillana.
Priority for youth and workers with the vaccine
Beyond preventive measures, the authors of the article recommend devising interventions to prevent transmission in homes as “an early vaccination of children once resources are available.”
At the moment, most of the countries that have begun to apply the vaccine, including Spain, have given priority to older groups and the health workers, although it is not yet clear who will be the next to be immunized from spring.
“Everyone takes it for granted that the first priority groups for vaccination are those that have been established, and yet there is the group of young super-spreading transmitters with an active social life or an active worker that they have to go to work and interact with other people ”, says Professor Cabrillana, who considers that these groups“ should also be a priority group for vaccination ”.
The main stumbling block to resolve before applying this strategy is that it is still unknown whether the vaccines already approved have the ability to prevent transmissionto other people from the coronavirus or only that those immunized develop the disease.
Indonesia was the first country to start vaccinating the very young first. In Spain, for the moment, applying preventive measures whenever there is a risk of contagion to vulnerable people seems to be the only solution to infections at home.