Zhang, et al. (2020) say the family cluster is one of most important modes of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) transmission throughout China, and more details are needed about how family clusters cause the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
The researchers retrospectively reviewed seven confirmed cases from one family cluster. Both clinical features and laboratory examination results were described. Patient 1 had been in close contact with someone who was later confirmed to have COVID-19 in Wuhan City before he returned back to his hometown. He had dinner with 6 other members in his family. All the persons developed COVID-19 successively except for one older woman who neither had dinner with them nor shared a sleeping room with her husband. Six patients had mild or moderate COVID-19 but one older man with underlying diseases progressed into the severe type. After general and symptomatic treatments, all the patients recovered.
The researchers conclude that in a family cluster, having dinner together may be an important mode for the transmission of SARS-CoV-2. In this setting, most cases are mild with a favorable prognosis, while elderly patients with underlying diseases may progress into the severe type. For someone who has close contact with a confirmed case, 14-day isolation is necessary to contain virus transmission.
Reference: Zhang Y, et al. Clinical features and outcomes of seven patients with COVID-19 in a family cluster. BMC Infectious Diseases. Vol. 20, No. 647. 2020.