Source: CVDaily Feed

The Utah Better Identification of Germs-Longitudinal Viral study, or BIG LoVE, reports that the more children you have in your household, the greater the risk of infection from viruses such as colds or flu. This study was conducted by a team of scientists at the University of Utah School of Medicine, and was conducted over the course of a year.

In the study, scientists found 26 households with different sized families, with a total of 105 family members. During the time of the study, there were three babies born, bringing the final total to 108 family members observed. Every week, an adult from each family swabbed everyone in the house and sent the samples to a lab. They were also asked to report any symptoms that develop in any of the family members.

Scientists took these samples and tested them for 16 types of common respiratory viruses. The results proved to be very interesting. Those without children were infected anywhere from three weeks to a month over the course of a year. As a child is added to the family, the amount of infection increases up to 18 weeks. Those families who had six children had reports of infection that lasted up to 45 weeks of the year.

Many people may carry a virus without even realizing it. Often, people can be infected without showing any symptoms, as shown in a report by People. This report showed that of those who carried a virus, only 56% reported any symptoms.

”A lot of families go through wave after wave of illness,” says Carrie Byington, co-author of the study. “In fact, some of the kids we monitored had symptoms for 20 to 25 weeks in a row.”

In other words, if someone in your family gets sick, it’s very easy for others to pick up the infection. This can be dangerous for family members with previous respiratory problems, or a weak immune system.

If you believe you or another member of your family may be sick, seek out medical care from your family physician, or local urgent care facilities. According to a recent survey by the Urgent Care Association of America, 57% of patients wait 15 minutes or less to be seen, and about 80% of all visits are 60 minutes or less.