xmlns="http://www.w3.org/2000/svg" viewBox="0 0 54 54">
Skip to content

How novel coronavirus spreads

You are probably most contagious if you have symptoms. However, you may still infect others even if you have no symptoms.

This film is available in several other languages.

Novel coronavirus is transmitted through droplet and contact spread in the same way as for example the common cold or influenza.

Droplet spread

When an infected person coughs, sneezes or shouts, tiny droplets containing the virus are ejected into the air and spread over short distances. These droplets can be inhaled by another person or land in their nose or mouth.

Most droplets fall to the ground within a few metres, which is why we encourage you to keep your distance from others. However, the most minute droplets, the so-called microdroplets, can remain suspended in the air for some time.

There are more air-borne droplets in poorly ventilated rooms, and the microdroplets can remain suspended in the air for longer. Therefore, many people together in small rooms as well as poor ventilation and air circulation indoors increase the risk of infection. So open doors and windows and air out your home regularly.

Contact spread

Transmission can occurs when an infected person has saliva or snot on their hands and then, for example, shake hands with somebody who then proceeds to touch their own nose, eyes or mouth. 

The virus can also spread when infected people sneeze, cough on, or touch surfaces or contact points, such as doorknobs, handrails, switches, cutlery, etc. Other people may become infected by touching these contaminated surfaces, then touching the mucous membranes in their eyes, noses or mouths.

The risk of contact spread is reduced by washing or sanitising your hands often and by cleaning of contact points and surfaces regularly and thoroughly.

Updated 03 MAJ 2021