COVID-19 can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth, including when an individual coughs or sneezes. These droplets may land on objects and surfaces. Other people may contract coronavirus by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth.
Symptoms of coronavirus
Symptoms of COVID-19 may appear within two to 14 days after exposure and include fever, cough, and shortness of breath.
The CDC recommends taking everyday preventive actions, including:
- Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then throw the tissue in the trash immediately.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- If you have fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, please seek medical attention.
- Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
CDC does not recommend that people who are well wearing a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19. Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).