BENGALURU: Covid-19 hospitals across the state are witnessing a new trend – of entire families getting infected with SARS-CoV 2 and in several cases, proving fatal for one or two members.

Recently, all 22 members of a mega VVIP family from Bengaluru tested positive, all requiring hospitalisation. The family was treated at a private hospital on Bannerghatta Road and all of them pulled through. The 22 members included a couple of domestic workers of the household too. “Imagine the financial burden on the family, not just the stress, anxiety and loss of health. This proves that the infection is spreading more indoors where social distancing is not being followed,” said a senior doctor who treated the family.
Doctors observe that “super-spreaders” are mostly inside homes where there is a dropping of guard, resulting in people getting infected.
3-5 of family getting virus has become a pattern: Doc
Dr Raveendra Mehta, chief of pulmonology at Apollo Hospitals, who has seen similar cases of en masse infections in families, said, “The infectivity is highest two days prior to showing of clear symptoms and one day after as per one research. This is the time when other members of the family too get infected. There is usually an introducer within the family and he or she spreads the virus to others.”
He said 3-5 members of a family getting infected has become a pattern, and usually, one or two members who step out infect the others who are home-bound.
Dr Sudha Menon, director of internal medicine at Fortis Hospital, Bannerghatta Road, recalled one family where eight people were infected. A young man was the carrier and unknowingly, spread the vius to his in-laws’ family too. “At home, nobody bothers to take precautions. The presymptomatic and asymptomatic persons don’t realise that they are infectious. They will be harbouring the virus but not showing enough symptoms and continue to interact with others in the family,” she said. In another case, 16 members of a family visited Aster CMI hospital’s fever clinic recently and got themselves swabbed. All of them tested positive. Unfortunately, one elderly member suffering from comorbidities died of the virus.
“There is a misbelief that wearing of masks and physical distancing only applies when somebody goes outside the home. Currently, many families and individuals are to a very large extent compromising on taking precautions. That’s one of the reasons why many families are getting infected in large numbers,” says Dr Sunil Kumar K, consultant for interventional pulmonology, Aster CMI hospital. He said if somebody develops fever, cough and body pain, it is advised that he or she is instantly taken for a Covid test so that the transmission chain can be broken and home isolation followed strictly.
However, according to Dr Kavita Patil, director of Gulbarga Institute of Medical Sciences, it is not easy to homeisolate symptomatic persons in most households, given the lack of space. “There are multiple families where 8-10 members have got infected but not everyone would require hospitalisation. In many families we have observed that separate rooms and toilets are just not available for home isolation,”she said.
In many cases where several members of a family have got infected, travel history has been a factor, she added. Doctors also mention that surface transmission and spread through fomites, especially mobile screens, utensils, surfaces and door knobs, could be more at home, apart from the spread through aerosols generated through cough and sneezing.

Source link