CDC: Coronavirus Spreads Mainly from People, 'Not Spread Easily' via Surfaces

Crowd of people

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has updated its position on the way in which coronavirus/COVID-19 is likely to spread.

Read: Coronavirus: Safety Tips to Follow as States Reopen 

When the pandemic began, public health guidelines warned the virus could be transmitted through infected respiratory droplets and by touching infected surfaces. As our understanding of the disease continues to evolve, the CDC website has been updated with new information, which now further explains the probable transmission of the virus.

The Virus Spreads Easily between People: "The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person. Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet). Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms," the CDC notes.

Read: Face Masks: How to Clean, Disinfect and When to Throw Away

The Virus Does Not Spread Easily in Other Ways: "COVID-19 is a new disease and we are still learning about how it spreads. It may be possible for COVID-19 to spread in other ways, but these are not thought to be the main ways the virus spread, [for exmaple] from touching surfaces or objects. It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 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 not thought to be the main way the virus spreads, but we are still learning more about this virus," the website states, noting the risk of an animal to person transmission is "low" and person to animal transmission has only occurred in a few instances.

Watch: Why Infectious Disease Expert Worries about Re-Opening Too Soon

According to the CDC, the best way to protect yourself and others is to avoid being exposed to the virus with these steps:

  • Practice social distancing of at least 6 feet
  • Wash hands with soap and water, or use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol, if washing is not an option
  • Routinely clean and disinfect high touch surfaces

*Additionally, many states and cities require the use of face masks and coverings while in public

Read: Coronavirus Found in Eyes and Tears?

*Get more resources, tips, advice, and news on coronavirus/COVID-19 from The Doctors and stay informed on the latest information on the coronavirus from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization and learn about prevention methods and what to do if you are infected.

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