SARS-CoV-2 is transmitted by exposure to infectious respiratory fluids. The principal mode by which people are infected with SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) is through exposure to respiratory fluids carrying infectious virus.
Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 can occur through direct, indirect, or close contact with infected people through infected secretions such as saliva and respiratory secretions or their respiratory droplets, which are expelled when an infected person coughs, sneezes, talks or sings.
The “Three C's” are a useful way to think about this. They describe settings where transmission of the COVID-19 virus spreads more easily:
• Crowded places;
• Close-contact settings, especially where people have conversations very near each other;
• Confined and enclosed spaces with poor ventilation.
Airborne transmission. Research shows that the virus can live in the air for up to 3 hours. It can get into your lungs if someone who has it breathes out and you breathe that air in. Experts are divided on how often the virus spreads through the airborne route and how much it contributes to the pandemic.
A virus infects your body by entering healthy cells. There, the invader makes copies of itself and multiplies throughout your body.
The new coronavirus latches its spiky surface proteins to receptors on healthy cells, especially those in your lungs.
Although there is currently no evidence that the COVID-19 virus transmits through semen or vaginal fluids, it has been detected in the semen of people recovering from COVID-19. We would thus recommend avoiding any close contact, especially very intimate contact like unprotected sex, with someone with active COVID-19 to minimize the risk of transmission
If both of you are healthy and feeling well, are practicing social distancing and have had no known exposure to anyone with COVID-19, touching, hugging, kissing, and sex are more likely to be safe.
Transmission of COVID-19 from inhalation of virus in the air can occur at distances greater than six feet. Particles from an infected person can move throughout an entire room or indoor space. The particles can also linger in the air after a person has left the room – they can remain airborne for hours in some cases.
Aerosolized coronavirus can remain in the air for up to three hours.
While airflows within a particular space may help spread disease among people in that space, there is no definitive evidence to date that viable virus has been transmitted through an HVAC system to result in disease transmission to people in other spaces served by the same system.
Waleed Javaid, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine (Infectious Diseases) at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, says it is possible, but not likely.
If someone in the house who is infected with the virus is coughing and sneezing and not being careful, then tiny virus particles in respiratory droplets could be circulated in the air. Anything that moves air currents around the room can spread these droplets, whether it is an air conditioning system, a window-mounted AC unit, a forced heating system, or even a fan, according to Dr. Javaid.
New variants of the virus are expected to occur. Slowing the spread of the virus, by protecting yourself and others, can help slow the emergence of new variants. The Omicron variant causes more infections and spreads faster than the original SARS-CoV-2 strain of the virus that causes COVID-19.
Coronaviruses die very quickly when exposed to the UV light in sunlight. Like other enveloped viruses, SARS-CoV-2 survives longest when the temperature is at room temperature or lower, and when the relative humidity is low (<50%).
The virus that causes COVID-19 travels in saliva, so, sure, swapping spit with an infected person could transfer the virus to you.
Drinking water is not transmitting COVID-19. And, if you swim in a swimming pool or in a pond, you cannot get COVID-19 through water. But what can happen, if you go to a swimming pool, which is crowded and if you are close to other the people and if someone is infected, then you can be of course affected.
During the initial stages of the pandemic there was concern about surface transmission. However, latest research suggests that this is unlikely to be a major route of transmission as although SARS-CoV-2 can persist for days on inanimate surfaces, attempts to culture the virus from these surfaces were unsuccessful.
The scientists found that severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was detectable in aerosols for up to three hours, up to four hours on copper, up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to two to three days on plastic and stainless steel.
After being expelled from the body, coronaviruses can survive on surfaces for hours to days. If a person touches the dirty surface, they may deposit the virus at the eyes, nose, or mouth where it can enter the body and cause infection.
If you are up to date with COVID-19 vaccines, you should wear a well-fitting mask around others for 10 days from the date of your last close contact with someone with COVID-19 (the date of last close contact is considered day 0).
When an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks, droplets or tiny particles called aerosols carry the virus into the air from their nose or mouth. Anyone who is within 6 feet of that person can breathe it into their lungs.
For both forms of COVID-19 disease transmission – close contact and airborne – it's respiratory droplets containing the virus that spread illness. Everyone produces respiratory droplets, which are tiny, moist particles that are expelled from the nose or mouth when you cough, sneeze, talk, shout, sing or exhale deeply.
If both of you are healthy and feeling well, are practicing social distancing and have had no known exposure to anyone with COVID-19, touching, hugging, kissing, and sex are more likely to be safe. Similarly, sharing a bed with a partner who is healthy should not be an issue.
Be aware, though, that the CDC reports that some people may have the virus and not yet have symptoms during the early part of the incubation period (presymptomatic). Additionally, some people never develop obvious symptoms of COVID-19 (asymptomatic). In either case, it’s possible that the virus might spread through physical contact and intimacy.
Most of the time, when you lose your sense of smell, it's because the virus has attacked these support cells. When these support cells regenerate (on average four to six weeks later; for some it takes longer) your sense of smell will return.”
COVID-19 can cause lasting damage to multiple organs, including the lungs, heart, kidneys, liver and brain. SARS CoV-2 first affects the lungs through the nasal passages. When the lungs are severely affected, it can affect the heart.
The CDC states that it's unlikely that the new coronavirus can survive in a pool that's properly maintained — which includes regularly checking and adjusting the pool's chlorine levels and pH.
In addition, the CDC also reports that there's currently no evidence that COVID-19 is spread through water in a pool or hot tub