As the Coronavirus COVID-19 is rapidly spreading worldwide a lot of questions are being asked.
With all the questions being asked some answers are being provided. Major health organizations have declared the virus a global emergency. In the US health organizations are advising people to be prepared for interruptions in daily living if the novel virus spreads to their communities. One of the major questions people are concerned about is how COVID-19 is spread. Below this question will be addressed and explained according to the most recent information available.
How did COVID-19 Start?
The name coronavirus which is the current term being used for the new spreading virus is not new. Science has been aware of coronaviruses since the ’60s. To date, including the newest virus COVID-19, there are seven known coronaviruses. Four of the seven are varieties that originated in humans and are spread from human to human. These four have been around for decades and usually only cause mild to moderate illness. The other three are types of coronaviruses originated in animals and have the ability to cross over to humans. Once it crosses over to humans then it spreads from human to human. In the last decade, two of these viruses were top headlines in other countries but were sparse in the US. These two viruses were known as SARS and MERS. The current coronavirus that is spreading is also thought to have originated in animals and crossed over to humans. The COVID-19 virus is thought to have originated in China at a seafood and live animal market.
How Does COVID-19 Spread?
COVID-19 is spread from person to person. Like most other viruses, it spreads from saliva or mucus droplets of an infected person. These droplets are spread through the air up to 6 feet when coughing or sneezing. These droplets end up on surfaces or remain airborne until they die or are transferred by touch or inhalation. Persons who touch the contaminated surfaces then touch there eyes, mouth, or nose are at risk of being infected by the virus. Also, persons who are in close contact with an infected person can inhale the droplets. Currently, it is thought that the virus is not transmitted from soft materials like fabric chairs or carpet. It is also unknown if the virus could be contracted from food prepared from an infected individual. Other types of known coronaviruses have been found in the stool of the infected person. This leaves a minor possibility for the food preparer to accidentally contaminate food by not having proper hand hygiene. Also, there is no evidence that packages or shipments from China carry the COVID-19 virus. This virus is a respiratory virus and most respiratory viruses only live on surfaces around 24 hours.
Can COVID-19 be Spread From Individuals who are not Sick?
As with any illness, it is known that individuals are most contagious when they are having the worst symptoms or they are at there sickest point. There is a slight possibility of the virus being spread prior to the infected person showing symptoms. But currently, this is not thought to be the main course of transmission. The contagiousness of viruses varies from highly contagious to scarcely spread. COVID-19 has shown to be easily spread and has the potential for sustainability in the community. Awareness and preparedness are two important factors to consider to keep you and your family healthy.