Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Image via Johns Hopkins Medicine/Facebook.

Throughout the United States, Latino communities continue to disproportionately suffer from COVID-19. 

A recent study from Johns Hopkins University provides new insight into how COVID has more severely impacted Latino households in Baltimore.

The study, published in Clinical Infectious Diseases, found that in Latino households in Baltimore, one in two people with COVID transmitted it to others in the household.

In similar studies, the average is one in five. 

The researchers analyzed data from free, community-based testing centers in Baltimore. 

They used this data to examine the likelihood of one household member infecting another, known as the secondary attack rate (SAR). 

The study found that the SAR among Latino households in Baltimore was 45.8 percent. 

In the U.S. overall, the SAR is 38 percent, according to a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

The study suggests that one primary reason for the disparity may be greater housing density, as Hispanic and Latino people in the U.S. are more likely to live in high-density homes. 

A recent survey by the National Low Income Housing Coalition found that Hispanic renters suffer most from overcrowding. 

The survey, which used data from the American Community Survey, found that 1500 Hispanic households out of every 10,000 renter households suffer from overcrowding.

For non-Hispanic white renters, that number is only 270. 

In crowded homes, family members infected with COVID do not have the space to quarantine, accelerating the virus’s contagion. 

Nationwide, Hispanic or Latino people are 2.5 times more likely to be hospitalized for the virus, and 2.1 times more likely to die than white, non-Hispanic people, according to the CDC

The Johns Hopkins study also found that the average time for the virus to spread in Latino households in Baltimore is less than two days. 

The study was conducted while the alpha variant was the dominant strain of COVID-19. 

With the spread of delta and omicron, Latino communities will continue to remain disproportionately susceptible to the virus’s spread.