How Is COVID-19 Spread? COVID-19 is a new type of the coronavirus, a type of viruses that affect the nose, sinuses and upper respiratory system. You may be familiar with another type of the coronavirus—the common cold. This virus, COVID-19 is much more virulent than the common cold, though. It is spread through airborne particles, meaning it makes its way from person to person when an infected person sneezes, coughs or even breathes. This can happen even if the person doesn’t have symptoms and doesn’t know he or she is sick.
Symptoms of COVID-19
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
Why Are Masks Important When in Public?We talked above about how COVID-19 spreads. When you’re out in public and in close contact with others, you are at risk of those airborne particles making their way to you. The CDC recommends wearing a cloth face covering in public for nearly everyone age 2 and older. That’s partially to protect you—and new studies show it does offer a layer of protection—but in great part, it’s to protect others from your airborne particles in the case you’re sick and don’t know it. Wearing a mask helps protect you and others.
Basics for Mask Use
- Choose a cloth face covering rather than a surgical mask or N-95 respirator.
- Cover your nose and mouth completely with the mask.
- Avoid touching the mask once it’s in place.
- Wash your hands after removing the mask.
- Wash your mask frequently.