How Can We Help?

How easily can I catch COVID-19 from a sick family member?

You are here:
< Back to FAQs

A recent study by the CDC  shows that once one person in a household is infected, others can also be infected with COVID-19 quickly.  If you suspect a family member is sick, they should be isolated even before test results are back. This is to minimize the exposure to other members of the household. 

The study followed 101 people and had a 54% rate of converting family members once exposed. 75% of these secondary infections occurred within five days of the first symptoms in the initial patient.

Professor Radesky in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Michigan says “The patterns of COVID-19 spread suggest that clusters of people who live close together are at highest risk of getting it from one another. If children are part of that household, they may show minimal symptoms but still be contagious.”

In a single parent or multigenerational household with less space, it is harder to isolate away from one another. In these circumstances we recommend asking neighbours or friends to drop off essential supplies until all members of your household are healthy and or test negative.

Prerana Sangani, MD, November 11, 2020