A 13-year-old girl infected 11 out of 13 of her relatives with coronavirus while the family was staying together in a vacation home for three weeks, a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report reveals.
The girl was exposed to a 'large outbreak' of coronavirus while away from home in June 2020 but got a negative result from a rapid test. So, she and her parents and brother continued on to a gathering of extended family, where they shared a house with nine other relatives for three weeks.
By the end of the trip, the infection had spread to all but two people who were staying in the house, where they did not wear masks or stay six feet apart.
Meanwhile, another six relatives who only spent time with their extended family outside, and maintained distance escaped the superspreader weekend unscathed.
It underscores both the possibility for children to catch and spread coronavirus, as well as the far higher risks of infection faced by groups sharing indoor space without preventive measures.
A 13-year-old girl infected 11 out of 13 of her relatives with coronavirus while the family was staying together in a vacation home for three weeks (left). Those who stayed elsewhere and kept social distance did not get infected (right)
Because she had been around a large number of infected people, the teenager's parents took her to get tested.
They waited four days after her exposure - a period at the low end of the incubation period for coronavirus.
She still had no symptoms when the rapid antigen was administered.
The teen tested negative, certainly a relief to her family, especially considering the gathering that they had planned.
But two days later - the day of departure - the girl was congested, but she otherwise felt fine.
Plus, she had the negative rapid test result, so her family opted to go ahead with the vacation.
And the girl never showed any of the other tell-tale signs of COVID-19, like fever, shortness of breath, cough or loss of smell or taste.
Rapid antigen tests - the same kind being used to test members of the White House since President Trump and first lady Melania Trump announced they had COVID-19 - rarely return false-positive results, but they're not quite as good as other diagnostics at picking up on low levels of the virus and have relatively high false-negative rates.
Over the course of three weeks, 12 out of 14 family members of all ages who were staying in the house