The revised guidelines of the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) about the ways of transmission of the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 are summarized by the doctors of the Therapeutic Clinic of the Medical School of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Theodora Psaltopoulou, Ioannis Danasis, and Thanos Dimopoulos (rector of EKPA).
– COVID-19 infection is mainly transmitted through close contact from person to person, between people who are close to each other (at a distance of less than 2 meters). People who are infected but have no symptoms can, also, to transmit the virus.
– COVID-19 infection is very easily transmitted from person to person. The SARS-CoV-2 virus appears to be more easily transmitted than the flu, but not as easily as measles, which is one of the most contagious viruses in humanity.
– COVID-19 infection is transmitted, usually, during close contact. People nearby (at a distance of less than 2 meters) in a person with COVID-19 or in direct contact with that person are at greater risk of infection. When people with COVID-19 infection cough, sneeze, they sing, they speak or breathe, produce respiratory droplets. These droplets can vary in size and be larger (some of which are visible) to smaller. Infections are -mainly- result of exposure to respiratory droplets. Respiratory droplets cause infection when inhaled or deposited on mucous membranes, as inside the nose and mouth. Distance is crucial, as the farther the respiratory droplets travel from the person with COVID-19, the concentration of these droplets decreases. The largest droplets fall from the air due to gravity. Smaller droplets and particles are dispersed in the air. With the passage of time, the amount of infectious virus in the respiratory droplets decreases.
– COVID-19 infection can sometimes be transmitted airborne. Some infections can be transmitted from person to person through exposure to small droplets and particles that carry a viral charge and can remain in the air for minutes to hours.. These viruses may be able to infect people who are farther away 2 meters from the carrier of the infection or even after the carrier of the infection has been removed from the site. This type of transmission is referred to as airborne transmission and is an important way of spreading infections such as tuberculosis., measles and chickenpox. There are indications that - under certain conditions- people with COVID-19 appear to have infected infected people more than 2 meters. These incidents have been reported indoors with insufficient ventilation. In some cases, the infected person was reported to be breathing heavily during song or exercise. Under these circumstances, Scientists believe that the amount of infectious microdroplets and particles from people with COVID-19 has accumulated enough to spread the virus to other people. The infected people were in the same place at the same time or shortly after the person left with COVID-19. However, It is noted that the available data show that close contact transmission is the main mode of spread and clearly more common than aerosol transmission..
– COVID-19 infection is less commonly transmitted through contact with infected surfaces. Respiratory droplets can, also, to be deposited on surfaces and objects. It is possible for a person to come in contact with SARS-CoV-2 by touching a surface or object and then become infected by touching the mouth, his nose or eyes. However, this mode of transmission is not considered frequent.
– COVID-19 infection is rarely transmitted between humans and animals. Isolated cases of human-to-animal transmission of SARS-CoV-2 have been reported., mainly cats and dogs, after close contact with individuals with COVID-19. For’ therefore caution is advised when contacting pets during COVID-19 infection. The risk of spreading COVID-19 infection from animals to humans is considered low.
We protect ourselves and others
– The best way to prevent the disease is to avoid exposure to the virus. We can take steps to prevent the transmission chain.
– We keep our distance from those close to us at least 2 meters, whenever possible. It is a very important preventive measure.
– We cover our mouth and nose with a mask when we are close to others. This helps to reduce the risk of spreading both by close contact and by airborne transmission..
– We wash our hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
– We avoid crowded indoor spaces and make sure that the indoor spaces are adequately ventilated with outside air.. Generally, the presence outdoors and in well-ventilated areas reduces the risk of exposure to infectious respiratory droplets.
– We stay at home and isolate ourselves from our loved ones when we get sick.
– We regularly clean and disinfect the surfaces we touch often.
Pandemics can be stressful, especially when we are away from others. During this period it is important to maintain social contacts and not to neglect our mental health..