CDC says teen gave COVID-19 to 11 relatives across 4 states during a family vacation. Experts see a cautionary tale for holidays

A COVID-19 outbreak that infected 11 people across four states began with a 13-year-old girl who transmitted the virus during a three-week family vacation over the summer, according to a Centers for Disease Control report.

In Illinois — one of the states involved — a Cook County Department of Public Health spokeswoman said that the community where some of the family members live is not currently at risk from this particular outbreak, which occurred months ago.

But the case shows that kids and teens can contract and spread the virus, public health experts say. It also serves as a cautionary tale before the holiday season, a traditional time for many large family get-togethers.

“(The) outbreak highlights several important issues that are good to review before the holidays., a Cook County Department of Public Health spokeswoman said in an email.

The CDC noted that the case underscores the risk of exposure during gatherings, as well as the benefits of social distancing.

“SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) can spread efficiently during gathering, especially with prolonged, close contact,” the CDC report said. “Physical distancing, face mask use and hand hygiene reduce transmission; gatherings should be avoided when physical distancing and face mask use are not possible.”

The three-week family gathering involved five households from four states, according to the CDC report, which was released earlier this month. The report in a footnote mentioned public health departments in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Illinois and Georgia; it did not give any other information about where the family gathering took place or the states where various relatives lived.

The report said the initial patient, a 13-year-old girl, was exposed to COVID-19 during a large outbreak in June. A rapid antigen test four days after her exposure came back negative, before her symptoms began. Two days later she had some nasal congestion, her only symptom. That day she traveled with her parents and two brothers to attend a large family gathering, which began the following day, according to the CDC report.

She was one of 14 relatives ranging in age from 9 to 72 who shared a five-bedroom, two-bathroom home for eight to 25 days, the report said. The relatives did not wear face masks or practice physical distancing, according to the report.

Eleven other family members contracted the virus; one was hospitalized and another went to the emergency room for treatment of respiratory symptoms, but both recovered, according to the report.

“This outbreak highlights several important issues,” the report said. “First, children and adolescents can serve as the source for COVID-19 outbreaks within families, even when their symptoms are mild. Better understanding of transmission by children and adolescents in different settings is needed to refine public health guidance.”

Six additional family members did not stay at the home but did visit on different occasions, maintaining physical distance from relatives from other households. None of those individuals developed symptoms, and four tested negative for the virus, the CDC found.

“None of the six family members

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How to Find Online Discount Hotel Deals – Tips From Travel Experts

Everybody knows that these days it’s cheaper to book their hotel rooms online for the best discounted room rates. So everyone usually heads straight to the many popular Internet travel agencies that we see so much on television and in magazines advertisements. But wouldn’t it be great to know where people working in the travel industry find their special hotel deals?

There are many reputable online travel agencies to choose from today. Most are not so well known because they are not as heavily advertised on television. Though they are popular amongst travel experts and seasoned travelers. When you do research on hotel deals you will find their names coming up first on search results.

But travel industry insiders know that in order to get the best hotel rates possible they primarily use the services of hotel reservation agencies based in the country or region they are traveling too.

For instance if I wanted to find an affordable 3 star hotel in New York City I would use US based online hotel agencies such as CheapOstay.com or HotelClub.com. Both companies have a solid reputation for reliable services and for offering discount hotel rates in the United States, though they are not as well known as Expedia.com or Priceline.com, even though CheapOstay.com and HotelClub.com offers better hotel room rates and more hotel choices.

The reason for that is Expedia and Priceline or another similar all in one travel service provider does not specialize in the hotel market.

Travel experts know that online hotel agencies are able to provide travelers with unique hotel discounts and promotions. They know these specialized agencies focus on the hotel niche so they are much more knowledgeable about traveler’s needs and demands for the best hotel room prices.

Regional online hotel agencies work closer with the hotels they are partnered with so whenever there is a special deal or upcoming exclusive promotions they are the first to receive them so that in turn they are made available to travelers. Hotels know to take advantage of the huge Internet presence that online hotel agencies possess and it increases the likely hood of a traveler coming across their hotel property.  

Since these discounts are exclusive you will only find them on these agencies’ websites that wouldn’t be offered by the hotels directly.  …

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