👉Our understanding of the mode of transmission is currently incomplete.
👉Epidemiologic investigation in Wuhan at the beginning of the outbreak identified an initial association with a seafood market where most patients had worked or visited.
👉The seafood market also sold live rabbits, snakes and other animals.
👉The initial concept was that the virus originated from snakes, however later studies proved that it had more similarity with bats.
👉However, as the outbreak progressed, person-to-person transmission through droplets and fomites became the primary mode of transmission.
👉How does Person-to-person transmission occur?
- The virus is released in the respiratory secretions when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks.
- These droplets can infect others if they make direct contact with the mucous membranes.
- Infection can also occur by touching an infected surface and followed by eyes, nose or mouth.
- Droplets typically do not travel more than six feet (about two meters) and do not linger in the air.
- However, given the current uncertainty regarding transmission mechanisms, airborne precautions are recommended routinely in some countries and in the setting of specific high risk procedures.
- Patients are thought to be most contagious when they are symptomatic.
- Some spread might be possible before symptoms appear, but this is not thought to be a common occurrence.
- Other possible modes of transmission:
- It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
- One study suggested that the virus may also be present in feces and could contaminate places like toilet bowls and bathroom sinks:
- But the researchers noted the possibility of this being a mode of transmission needs more research.
- In February a Chinese newborn was diagnosed with the new coronavirus just 30 hours after birth:
- The baby’s mother tested positive before she gave birth.
- It is unclear how the disease was transmitted – in the womb, or after birth.
- Recently in London another newborn was tested positive for the coronavirus, marking what appears to be the second such case as the pandemic worsens.
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