Comprehensive Infection Rate Study Performed by South Korean Citizens

Young people, those aged from 10 to 19, are a lot more likely than other cohorts to spread the new coronavirus in their own household. This study was performed by the Centers for Disease Control in South Korea, after a meta-analysis of contact tracing. This study is a warning to Americans that are currently considering whether in-person classes should be opened this Fall for U.S. school districts.

The Study

This study is, however, just an early release. An article in Emerging Infectious Diseases will later appear. Emerging Infectious Diseases is a peer-reviewed journal that is published by the Center for Disease Control.

The Context

After following 5,706 patients infected with the new coronavirus starting on 20 January until 27 March, back when schools were closed in South Korea, scientists were the first to ever report COVID-19 symptoms in their household, tracing all of their contacts in an effort to determine how the virus is being spread.

Young People

According to their initial analysis, young people between the ages of 10 to 19 are usually not the first individuals in the household that show symptoms. However, in the rare cases in which they are the first that show symptoms of COVID-19, 18.6% of their contacts were infected with the virus. That is a significantly higher rate of infection than that of any other age group.


On the contrary, children aged 9 or younger were the least likely cohort to spread the disease among the other members of the household. For these, about 5.3% of their contacts, which represents a meager three people, tested positive for COVID-19.


Outside of the object of the study, the household, older people between the ages of 70 and 79 were the most probable to spread COVID-19. It appears that 4.8% of their non-household contacts were infected in the study.


According to the authors of the study, there are some limitations. Not all the asymptomatic cases have been identified, but the director of the Harvard Global Health Institute, Dr. Ashish Jha, has said that this is one of the best studies approaching this matter ever.

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