Questions & Answers

How (easily) does COVID-19 spread? What is the transmission mode?

While animals are believed to be the original source, the virus spread is now from person to person (human-to-human transmission).

The virus seems to be transmitted mainly via small respiratory droplets (Pflugge droplets) through sneezing, coughing, or when people interact with each other for some time in close proximity (usually less than one metre). These droplets can then be inhaled, or they can land on surfaces that others may come into contact with, who can then get infected when they touch their nose, mouth or eyes.

The virus can survive on different surfaces from several hours (copper, cardboard) up to a few days (plastic and stainless steel). However, the amount of viable virus declines over time and may not always be present in sufficient numbers to cause infection.

The incubation period for COVID-19 is currently estimated to bet between 2 and 14 days.

Can the virus that causes COVID-19 be transmitted through the air?

Studies to date suggest that the virus that causes COVID-19 is mainly transmitted through contact with respiratory droplets rather than through the air.

Can CoVID-19 be caught from a person who has no symptoms?

We know that the virus can be transmitted when people who are infected show symptoms such as coughing. There is also some evidence suggesting that transmission can occur from a person that is infected even two days before showing symptoms; however, uncertainties remain about the effect of transmission by non-symptomatic persons.

Can I catch COVID 19 from the feces of someone with the disease?

The risk of catching COVID19 from the feces of an infected person appears to be low. While initial investigations suggest the virus may be present in feces in some cases, spread through this route is not a main feature of the outbreak. Because this is a risk, however, it is another reason to clean hands regularly, after using the bathroom and before eating.

Coronavirus Transmission