Where do most people become infected with Corona and who is particularly at risk? French researchers have now presented a new study on these questions that confirms some assumptions.
The corona infection risk and what many experts agree: The fourth corona wave in Germany has already started. The President of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), Lothar Wieler, is also convinced of this. According to this, both the incidence and the proportion of hospitalizations have been rising again for around three weeks.
According to the RKI, it often remains unclear where people were infected with the corona virus. Very few infected people can provide information about the location of their infection from memory.
Study determines Corona contagion sites in autumn 2020
Scientists from the Institut Pasteur and the Université Sorbonne in Paris have taken precisely the infection rate this problem as an occasion for a study. They examined the situations in which people became infected in autumn 2020 by comparing their behavior with that of those who were not affected. 41,871 people diagnosed with corona took part in this case-control study. They were compared to a statistically suitable selected control group.
The subjects completed a questionnaire at the end of 2020. This contained information about activities and contacts in the ten days before the coronavirus infection was discovered. Possible places of infection included, for example, the workplace, the means of transport used, places visited, leisure and sports activities. The control group answered the same questions.
The researchers then put the frequencies of suspected risk factors in relation to each other and calculated how much they contributed to the risk of infection.
The study, which recently appeared in the English-language journal “The Lancet”, came to the following results:
- The greater the number of people in a household, the greater the risk of infection.
- A child in day care, in kindergarten or in school also increased the risk, with the exception of primary school. It was almost twice as high when a household member worked in day care.
- Private meetings, visits to bars and restaurants, trips abroad and indoor sports activities were also associated with a higher probability of infection.
- On the other hand, shopping in shops, religious gatherings, cultural events and means of transport – with the exception of car pooling – appeared safer.
- Unemployed people were only infected around half as often as people who worked in the office (on site). Working from home full-time offered significant protection and reduced the likelihood almost to that of the unemployed.
Why the study results should be viewed with caution when it comes to the infection risk,
However, public life in France was already severely restricted at the time of the survey, the authors of the study point out. There is therefore no all-clear for unrestricted visits to churches and cultural events.
This also applies to public transport: the risk of infection was lower here than in carpooling, for example, but this can easily be explained by the fact that most people do not wear a mask in their private car.
In summary, however, it confirms the assumption of previous studies that SARS-CoV-2 infections often take place in the private environment – in one’s own household or in the wider family, followed by the workplace. Eating out with friends also plays a key role, according to the researchers. It will therefore always be dangerous in autumn 2021 where indoor space, mask use and adequate ventilation cannot be ensured.