CDC Says 13-Year-Old Girl Spread COVID-19 to 11 Relatives During Summer Vacation

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.

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13-Year-Old Gave COVID To 11 Relatives Across 4 States During Family Vacation: CDC

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Nearly a dozen people across four states were infected with the novel coronavirus by a 13-year-old girl during a three-week family vacation over the summer, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The teenager, whose identity remains anonymous, was exposed to COVID-19 during a “large outbreak” in June, leading her to take a coronavirus test four days later. She tested negative and was not showing symptoms at the time, the report states.

But two days later, the teen began experiencing nasal congestion, a symptom of COVID-19, on the same day she, her parents and two brothers traveled to a family gathering at an unconfirmed location, where 14 of them stayed in a five-bedroom, two-bathroom house for between eight and 25 days.

The attendees ranged in age from 9 to 72 and belonged to five households in four states: Rhode Island, Illinois, Georgia and Massachusetts, according to the CDC report.

Six additional relatives (an aunt, an uncle, and four cousins) visited for 13 hours during the trip but maintained social distance and stayed outdoors. None of them tested positive for the virus.

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Including the teenage girl, 12 of the 14 relatives staying at the home – none of whom social distanced or wore masks — began exhibiting COVID-19-related symptoms and were subsequently found to have been infected with the virus.

One of the family members was hospitalized, according to the CDC, while another was treated at an emergency department care for respiratory symptoms. They have both recovered.

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Adeline Fagan, who was in her second year of residency, tested positive for COVID-19 in July

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After the CDC investigated the cases throughout July and August, the 13-year-old girl was determined to be the “index patient” given that she began showing symptoms prior to any other family member that was infected.

The teen’s initial COVID-19 test, done before the trip, was likely a false negative, according to the CDC report, “because it was performed before symptom onset.”

The CDC said that the outbreak further proves that children and adolescents can serve as the source of COVID-19 spreading, even when their symptoms are mild. In addition, it shows that lack of social distancing will likely result in further spreading of the virus, per the CDC.

As of Tuesday, there are over 7.8 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States, while at least 214,900 people have died, according to the New York Times’ database.

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