Mode of Transmission of Coronavirus Infection


Mode of transmission is unknown about 2019-nCoV. Current knowledge is largely based on what is known about similar coronaviruses. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can infect people and then spread between people such as with MERS, SARS, and now with 2019-nCoV.

The disease spreads primarily from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth, which are expelled when a person with COVID-19 coughs, sneezes, or speaks. These droplets are relatively heavy, do not travel far and quickly sink to the ground. People can catch COVID-19 if they breathe in these droplets from a person infected with the virus, similar to how influenza and other respiratory pathogens spread.

These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs; this is why it is important to stay at least 1 meter away from others. Droplet transmission occurs when a person is in close contact (within 1.0 meter) with someone who has respiratory symptoms like coughing or sneezing and is therefore at risk of having his/her mucosae (mouth and nose) or conjunctiva (eyes) exposed to potentially infective respiratory droplets. Transmission may also occur through fomites in the immediate environment around the infected person.

Therefore, transmission of the COVID-19 virus can occur by direct contact with infected people and indirect contact with surfaces in the immediate environment or with objects used on the infected person like prescription, stethoscope, thermometer, tables, doorknobs and handrails etc. It’s commonly happen when a person can get 2019-nCoV by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes; This is why it is important to wash your hands regularly with soap and water or clean with alcohol-based hand rub.

Typically, with most respiratory viruses, people are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest). It’s important to note that how easily a virus spreads person-to-person can vary. Some viruses are highly contagious, while other viruses are less so. There is much more to learn about the transmissibility, severity, and other features associated with 2019-nCoV and investigations are ongoing.

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