How to stop the spread of COVID-19: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia

James J. Latham

HOW COVID-19 SPREADS COVID-19 is an sickness brought on by an infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus. COVID-19 most usually spreads among men and women inside near contact (about 6 toes or one.8 meters). When someone with the sickness coughs, sneezes, sings, talks, or breathes, droplets carrying the virus spray into […]


COVID-19 is an sickness brought on by an infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus. COVID-19 most usually spreads among men and women inside near contact (about 6 toes or one.8 meters). When someone with the sickness coughs, sneezes, sings, talks, or breathes, droplets carrying the virus spray into the air. You can capture the sickness if you breathe in these droplets.

In some situations, COVID-19 could distribute by means of the air and infect men and women who are additional than 6 toes away. Compact droplets and particles can keep on being in the air for minutes to hours. This is referred to as airborne transmission, and it can occur in enclosed spaces with very poor ventilation. Nevertheless, it is additional common for COVID-19 to distribute by means of near contact.

Fewer usually, the sickness can distribute if you touch a floor with the virus on it, and then touch your eyes, nose, mouth, or deal with. But this is not assumed to be the principal way the virus spreads.

The chance of spreading COVID-19 is bigger when you interact intently with other people who are not in your domestic for for a longer period durations of time.

You can distribute COVID-19 in advance of you exhibit signs or symptoms. Some men and women with the sickness never ever have signs or symptoms, but can even now distribute the condition. Nevertheless, there are methods to shield by yourself and other people from acquiring COVID-19:

  • Normally have on a deal with mask or deal with address when you will be about other men and women. This aids decrease the distribute of the virus by means of the air.
  • Keep at minimum 6 toes (one.8 meters) aside from other men and women who are not in your domestic, even if you are sporting a mask.
  • Clean your palms numerous occasions a day with soap and running water for at minimum twenty seconds. Do this in advance of feeding on or making ready food, right after utilizing the toilet, and right after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose. Use an alcohol-based mostly hand sanitizer (at minimum 60% alcohol) if soap and water are not out there.
  • Include your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your palms) when coughing or sneezing. Droplets that are introduced when a person sneezes or coughs are infectious. Throw away the tissue right after use.
  • Avoid touching your deal with, eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed palms.
  • Do not share private things this sort of as cups, feeding on utensils, towels, or bedding. Clean just about anything you have utilized in soap and water.
  • Cleanse all “high-touch” parts in the residence, this sort of as doorknobs, bathroom and kitchen area fixtures, toilets, phones, tablets, counters, and other surfaces. Use a domestic cleaning spray and stick to recommendations for use.
  • Know the signs or symptoms of COVID-19. If you acquire any signs or symptoms, contact your health treatment service provider.


To assistance avoid the distribute of COVID-19 inside the local community, you ought to apply social distancing, also referred to as bodily distancing. This applies to men and women of all ages, which includes young men and women, teenagers, and young children. Whilst any individual can get sick, not anyone has the similar chance of critical sickness from COVID-19. More mature men and women and men and women with current health conditions this sort of as heart condition, diabetes, weight problems, most cancers, or lung condition have a bigger chance of creating significant sickness.

All people can assistance sluggish the distribute of COVID-19 and assistance shield these who are most susceptible. These recommendations can assistance you and other people continue to be protected:

  • Check out the community health section web site for information and facts on COVID-19 in your spot and stick to neighborhood guidelines.
  • Whenever you go out of the residence, always have on a deal with mask and apply social distancing.
  • Retain journeys exterior your residence for essentials only. Use delivery providers or curbside decide on up when achievable.
  • Every time achievable, if you will need to use community transportation or rideshares, prevent touching surfaces, continue to be 6 toes from other people, strengthen circulation by opening home windows (if you can), and wash your palms or use hand sanitizer right after your experience finishes.
  • Avoid poorly ventilated indoor spaces. If you will need to be inside with other people not in the similar domestic, open up home windows to assistance carry in out of doors air. Investing time outside or in perfectly-ventilated spaces can assistance decrease your publicity to respiratory droplets.

Whilst you need to keep on being bodily aside from other people, you will not have to be socially isolated if you pick safer activities.

  • Achieve out to close friends and relatives by way of cell phone or video chats. Routine virtual social visits usually. Performing so can assistance remind you that we are all in this jointly, and you are not by itself.
  • Go to with close friends or relatives in tiny teams exterior. Be certain to continue to be at minimum 6 toes aside at all occasions, and have on a mask if you will need to be closer than 6 toes even for a small time or if you will need to go indoors. Arrange tables and chairs to allow for for social distancing.
  • When greeting just one an additional, will not hug, shake palms, or even bump elbows as this delivers you in near contact.
  • If sharing food, have just one person do all the serving, or have separate serving utensils for each individual guest. Or have guests carry their own food and beverages.
  • It is even now most secure to prevent crowded community destinations and mass gatherings, this sort of as purchasing centers, motion picture theaters, dining places, bars, concert halls, conferences, and sports activities stadiums. If achievable, it is also safer to prevent community transportation.


If you have COVID-19 or have signs or symptoms of it, you need to isolate by yourself at residence and prevent contact with other men and women, both equally inside and exterior your residence, to prevent spreading the sickness. This is referred to as residence isolation (also acknowledged as “self-quarantine”).

  • As substantially as achievable, continue to be in a distinct area and away from other people in your residence. Use a separate bathroom if you can. Do not go away your residence except to get healthcare treatment.
  • Do not travel when sick. Do not use community transportation or taxis.
  • Retain keep track of of your signs or symptoms. You could acquire recommendations on how to check out and report your signs or symptoms.
  • Use a deal with mask or fabric deal with address when you see your health treatment service provider and whenever other men and women are in the similar area with you. If you won’t be able to have on a mask, for instance, due to respiration issues, men and women in your residence ought to have on a mask if they will need to be in the similar area with you.
  • Whilst unusual, there have been conditions of men and women spreading COVID-19 to animals. For this reason, if you have COVID-19, it truly is most effective to prevent contact with animals or other animals.
  • Observe the similar cleanliness methods anyone ought to stick to: address coughs and sneezes, wash your palms, will not touch your deal with, will not share private things, and thoroughly clean high-touch parts in the residence.

You ought to keep on being at residence, prevent contact with men and women, and stick to the advice of your service provider and neighborhood health section about when to stop residence isolation.

For the most up-to-day information and information and facts about COVID-19, you can check out the subsequent web-sites:

Facilities for Sickness Handle and Avoidance web site. Coronavirus Sickness 2019 (COVID-19) –

Entire world Health and fitness Firm web site. Coronavirus Sickness 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic –

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