It is difficult and almost impossible to precisely determine how a person is infected with the Coronavirus that causes Covid-19 disease, but months of research may be able to identify some of the ways in which the virus infects humans.
According to the American “Washington Post” newspaper, close person-to-person contact is widely considered the predominant mode of infection, because infected people expel a droplet carrying virus particles when they speak, sing or breathe normally. Hence the importance of social distancing.
Just as there are other pathways that are less common, scientists have pointed to the transmission of smaller particles called aerosols, which can float longer and for longer periods, proving that good ventilation and face masks reduce the risk of infection.
All of these particles can contaminate surfaces when they land, and people who touch them can transfer virus particles to their nose, mouth, or eyes and become infected. Experts advise here to wash hands frequently and thoroughly and clean things that are frequently touched, such as door handles, which reduces the risk of transmission.
Experts confirm that spending at least 15 minutes near an infected person, or even shorter periods with a person coughing or sneezing, is risky, because they throw out virus-laden particles.
And the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that you leave a distance of at least two meters between you and the other person, which is roughly the distance that these drops can usually fly. The World Health Organization says that a distance must be left at least a meter between you and the other person, and a “greater distance” in case the place is closed. Public health authorities also recommend that people wash their hands frequently and give up shaking hands, hugging and kissing.
Infected people may be contagious more than a day or two before they begin to feel sick, and they may continue to be contagious for 15 days after symptoms appear. People with very mild or no symptoms may also transmit Covid-19, which is why testing is necessary for isolation.
For families with a suspected or confirmed case, doctors suggest keeping this person separated from others as much as possible and cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces, such as keys, tables, and remote controls.
Indoor environments that lack adequate ventilation or air purification exacerbate the spread of virus-laden particles. It is more common in nightclubs, bars, restaurants and gyms. Infectious particles on surfaces, clothes, and other things may also travel into the air if excited, making walking on contaminated floors or removing contaminated clothing a potential risk.
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