Coronavirus is thought to spread mainly through close contact, including between people who are physically near each other, within about 6 feet. Those who are infected but don’t show any symptoms can spread the virus to others. The CDC are still learning about how the virus spreads and the severity of illness it causes.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the virus spreads through droplets and small airborne particles suspended in the air and inhaled. These small particles, or aerosols, are formed when an infected person “coughs, sneezes, sings, talks or breathes,” adding that mounting evidence shows the possibility of airborne transmission.
“These particles can be inhaled into the nose, mouth, airways, and lungs and cause infection. This is thought to be the main way the virus spreads,” said the CDC. Close contact was still said to be a common route of transmission, with larger respiratory droplets transmitted from person to person and the risk of transmission increasing with prolonged close contact.
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