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  Corona menu How the virus spreads  
1. Can Coronaviruses and the novel Coronavirus be transmitted from person to person?

Yes, some Coronaviruses can be transmitted from person to person, usually after close contact with an infected patient, for example, between family members or in a healthcare centre.

The novel Coronavirus responsible for respiratory disease COVID-19 can also be transmitted from person to person through close contact with a probable or confirmed case.

2. How is the novel Coronavirus transmitted from person to person?

The new coronavirus is a respiratory virus which spreads primarily through close contact with an infected person. The primary route is through respiratory droplets from the infected persons, for example through:

  • droplets of saliva, coughing and sneezing
  • close personal contact
  • touching an object or surface contaminated with the virus, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands

In rare cases, faecal contamination.

Normally, respiratory diseases cannot be passed on through food. However, safe food hygiene practices should be followed, and contact should be avoided between raw and cooked food.

Studies are under way to better understand how the virus is transmitted.

3. What is the definition of close contact?

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control defines close contact as follows:

  • A person living in the same household as a COVID-19 case;
  • A person having had direct physical contact with a COVID-19 case (e.g. shaking hands);
  • A person having unprotected direct contact with infectious secretions of a COVID-19 case (e.g. touching used paper tissues with a bare hand);
  • A person having had face-to-face contact with a COVID-19 case within 2 metres and > 15 minutes;
  • A person who was in a closed environment (e.g. classroom, meeting room, hospital waiting room, etc.) with a COVID-19 case for 15 minutes or more and at a distance of less than 2 metres;
  • A healthcare worker (HCW) or other person providing direct care for a COVID-19 case, or laboratory workers handling specimens from a COVID-19 case without recommended personal protective equipment (PPE) or with a possible breach of PPE;
  • A contact in an aircraft sitting within two seats (in any direction) of the COVID-19 case, travel companions or persons providing care, and crew members serving in the section of the aircraft where the index case was seated (if severity of symptoms or movement of the case indicate more extensive exposure, passengers seated in the entire section or all passengers on the aircraft may be considered close contacts).

The epidemiological link to a probable or confirmed case may have occurred within a 14‐day period before the onset of illness in the suspected case under consideration.

4. How to manage a close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case?

Under the Ministry's orders, the local health authorities must place any close contacts of a probable or confirmed case under quarantine with active surveillance for 14 days.

5. Can the new Coronavirus infection be contracted by a case that presents no symptoms (asymptomatic)?

It is known that the virus spreads mainly through respiratory droplets expelled by coughing or other symptoms.

However, some evidence suggests that transmission can also occur from an infected person, who has only mild symptoms.

Some reports have also indicated that people without symptoms can also transmit the virus. This is particularly true in the early stages of the disease, especially two days before symptoms develop. Studies to assess the likelihood of such event are currently underway.

6. Who is at greater risk of infection?

People who live or have travelled in areas at risk of novel coronavirus infection or people who have been in close contact with a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19. 

The areas at risk of novel coronavirus infection are those where local transmission of SARS-CoV-2 is present, as identified by the World Health Organization. The risk level in those areas is higher than in areas where only imported cases are present. 

7. Are health workers at risk from a novel coronavirus?

Yes, they can be, because they come into contact with patients more often than the general population. The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends that health workers follow appropriate prevention and control measures for infections in general and respiratory infections in particular.

8. When can a confirmed case of COVID-19 be declared recovered?

A COVID-19 patient can be considered cured after the resolution of symptoms (fever, rhinitis, cough, sore throat, difficulty breathing, pneumonia) and after two negative swab tests for SARS-CoV-2 performed 24 hours apart.

9. Can the new coronavirus be transmitted by mosquitoes?
To date there is no scientific evidence of transmission through ticks, mosquitoes, or other insects, which can carry other types of viruses (arbovirus), which are responsible for diseases that are completely different from Covid-19, such as dengue and yellow fever.


Moreover, there is currently no data to suggest that other coronaviruses of the same family of SARS-CoV-2 (such as SARS and MERS viruses) can be transmitted by mosquitoes. It is therefore highly unlikely.