The SARS-CoV-2 virus or the pathogen which causes coronavirus infection is known to be highly contagious since the beginning of the ongoing global health crisis, which is why people are advised to stay extremely cautious to this day.
Various health agencies, including the U.S. Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, recommend people to cut down on time spent outdoors, specifically in public spaces as much as possible.
In addition, whenever heading out of the house, even when it is within an apartment building, wearing face-covering is also required in accordance with the current guidelines by the CDC as it significantly brings down the risk of contracting the infection.
Other measures for prevention also include washing hands frequently, maintaining a distance of at least six feet whenever going in a public space, using a hand sanitizer, and disinfecting homes frequently to kill any virus present on surfaces.
Although these instructions and repeated warnings have already accentuated the contagious nature of the virus, new research shows that it may actually spread even faster than previously thought by scientists.
To do this, the researchers examined how easily can the coronavirus transmit among people living in the same house.
The leading investigators of the study, Dr. H. Keipp Talbot, who is a professor of medicine at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center, and Dr. Carlos Grijalva associate professor of health policy explain that the findings show the coronavirus can spread in less than a week.
During their investigation, they found that fifty-three percent of the household members contract the infection whenever a single member gets infected.
Moreover, in more than seventy-five percent of the cases caused by the further spread of the virus in a house, the infection transmitted in an average time period of five days.
These findings are important not only because they show why measures for controlling coronavirus are still needed but also since many people are no longer following them as strictly.
According to experts, people becoming less cautious eventually was expected and is a behavior that has also been noted in previous epidemics. Over a certain period of time, getting tired and experiencing ‘pandemic fatigue’ is normal.
However, there is still a need for actively avoiding such sentiments and continuing to follow instructions as the vast majority is at risk of contracting the infection even if it has been more than six months since the health crisis started.
Additionally, the risk of transmission in the upcoming few weeks will be much higher than before as people will stay and gather indoors to protect themselves from colder weather outside.
The current medical evidence shows that airborne transmission usually happens in indoor spaces, which means meeting family and friends inside houses is going to lead to multiple outbreaks during the holiday season.
This is why the CDC recommends keeping gatherings short and making sure they are in accordace with safety guidelines to lower the risk of coronavirus spread as much as possible.
It should be kept in mind that even if only one member of a house gets infected, others will probably catch the virus in less than seven days.