COVID-19 transmission can happen after 10 days

In a new study, researchers found that there is some onward transmission of COVID-19 from household contacts released from quarantine after seven or 10 days.

The research was conducted by a team from the CDC COVID-19 Response Team.

In the study, the team analyzed interim data from an ongoing study of household transmission of SARS-CoV-2 to examine the proportion of household contacts who had the detectable virus after a shortened quarantine period.

For 14 days, household contacts of index patients completed a daily symptom diary and self-collected respiratory specimens, which were tested for SARS-CoV-2.

The researchers found that 59% of the 185 household contacts had detectable SARS-CoV-2 at any time; 76% and 86% of test results were positive within seven and 10 days, respectively, after the index patient’s illness onset date.

The chance of remaining asymptomatic and receiving negative test results through day 14 was 81% and 93%, respectively, among household contacts who received negative SARS-CoV-2 test results and were asymptomatic through day 7 or through day 10.

The team says although people might be more adherent to a shorter quarantine period, such a policy is not without risk for further spread.

Timely access to a sufficiently sensitive test at the end of a shorter quarantine period will help identify household contacts with SARS-CoV-2 infection.

One author of the study is Melissa A. Rolfes, Ph.D.

The study is published in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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