In the last few months, children have vacillated between unlikely vectors and walking biological weapons depending on who you asked and on what day. The CDC is underlining the fact that yes, children can spread coronavirus by sharing a new report on a 13-year-old girl who passed COVID-19 on to 11 of her relatives across four states.
The transmission in question came after the unidentified girl traveled with her family to a summer family gathering in a large house. The child had been tested after being exposed, with her test falsely coming back negative ahead of the trip. After the teen took the test, she started to experience nasal congestion, which was the only symptom she had.
The family, which included people that were aged 9 to 72 years old, came together from disparate parts of the country with 14 people staying in the house that contained the teen. The family reportedly did not practice social distancing or wear masks. "Fourteen relatives, including the index patient, stayed in a five-bedroom, two-bathroom house for 8–25 days," the CDC's report stated. "These relatives did not wear face masks or practice physical distancing." 11 people contracted the virus and two needed to be hospitalized, though all have recovered.
Another branch of the family visited the home, but wore masks and remained outside the house. None of those people contracted the virus. As numbers in the US continue to rise, flu season adds a complicated wrinkle and the vaccine still appears far off, it's important to remember that there are practices, such as wearing a mask, that can reduce the risk of spreading or contracting coronavirus.