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How COVID-19 Spreads


Current understanding about how the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) spreads is largely based on what is known about similar coronaviruses. COVID-19 is a new disease and there is more to learn about how it spreads, the severity of illness it causes, and to what extent it may spread in the United States.

  1. Person-to-person spread 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 or sneezes.These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

  2. Spread from contact with infected 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, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

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