COVID-19 can spread from people to animals in some situations. Pet cats and dogs can sometimes become infected after close contact with people with COVID-19.
There is no evidence to suggest that handling food or consuming food is associated with COVID-19. Follow food safety guidelines when handling and cleaning fresh produce. Do not wash produce with soap, bleach, sanitizer, alcohol, disinfectant or any other chemical.
There is also no current evidence that people can get COVID-19 by drinking water. The COVID-19 virus has not been detected in drinking water. Conventional water treatment methods that use filtration and disinfection, such as those in most municipal drinking water systems, should remove or kill the virus that causes COVID-19.
There are no scientific reports of the virus that causes COVID-19 spreading to people through the water in lakes, oceans, rivers, or other natural bodies of water.
Genetic material from has been found in untreated wastewater. There is little evidence of infectious virus in wastewater, and no information to date that anyone has become sick with COVID-19 because of exposure to wastewater. Wastewater treatment plants use chemical and other disinfection processes to remove and degrade many viruses and bacteria. COVID-19 is inactivated by the disinfection methods used in wastewater treatment.
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Most people who fall sick with COVID-19 will experience mild to moderate symptoms and recover without special treatment. However, some will become seriously ill and require medical attention.
We know that the disease is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which spreads between people in several different ways.
The virus can spread from an infected person’s mouth or nose in small liquid particles when they cough, sneeze, speak, sing or breathe. These particles range from larger respiratory droplets to smaller aerosols.
You can be infected by breathing in the virus if you are near someone who has COVID-19, or by touching a contaminated surface and then your eyes, nose or mouth. The virus spreads more easily indoors and in crowded settings.
COVID-19 is spread in three main ways:
Whether or not they have symptoms, infected people can be contagious and the virus can spread from them to other people.
Laboratory data suggests that infected people appear to be most infectious just before they develop symptoms (namely 2 days before they develop symptoms) and early in their illness. People who develop severe disease can be infectious for longer.
While someone who never develops symptoms can pass the virus to others, it is still not clear how frequently this occurs and more research is needed in this area.
Both terms refer to people who do not have symptoms. The difference is that ‘asymptomatic’ refers to people who are infected but never develop any symptoms, while ‘pre-symptomatic’ refers to infected people who have not yet developed symptoms but go on to develop symptoms later.
Yes, any situation in which people are in close proximity to one another for long periods of time increases the risk of transmission. Indoor locations, especially settings where there is poor ventilation, are riskier than outdoor locations. Activities where more particles are expelled from the mouth, such as singing or breathing heavily during exercise, also increase the risk of transmission.
The “Three C’s” are a useful way to think about this. They describe settings where transmission of the COVID-19 virus spreads more easily:
The risk of COVID-19 spreading is especially high in places where these “3Cs” overlap.
In health facilities where people are receiving treatment for COVID-19, there is an increased risk of infection during medical procedures called aerosol generating procedures. These can produce very small droplets that can stay suspended in the air for longer periods of time and spread beyond conversational distances (typically 1 meter). This is why health workers performing these procedures or in settings where these procedures are performed should take specific airborne protection measures, including using appropriate personal protective equipment such as respirators. This is also why visitors are not permitted in areas where these procedures are being performed.