Maria Van Kerkhove speaks during a press conference on July 3 at the World Health Organization headquarters in Geneva. Maria Van Kerkhove speaks during a press conference on July 3 at the World Health Organization headquarters in Geneva. Fabrice Coffrini/Pool/AFP/Getty Images

The World Health Organization on Wednesday underscored that most transmission of Covid-19 is still happening in households.

Speaking during a social media Q&A, Maria Van Kerkhove, a WHO infectious disease epidemiologist, said if someone tests positive for Covid-19, that they should be cared for in a medical facility – but she said she understands that cannot always happen.

“We realize that that is not possible globally, with so many cases that we are seeing, but it is important that if you are in a high risk group – if you are over 60, if you have any underlying conditions – that you are cared for in a medical facility,” she said. “The reason for that is because you are at a higher risk of developing severe disease and of death.”

If an infected person is cared for at home, “There’s the possibility that the virus will spread within the household,” she said.

“Most transmission is actually still happening in households,” Van Kerkhove said. “This we knew from the beginning, from the outbreaks that were detected in China. And one of the most important things that they did in China was recognizing this, and then isolating individuals who are infected outside of the home.”

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