Fist Bumps vs. Handshakes: How COVID-19 Does —and Doesn’t—Spread

With more than 73,000 people confirmed with COVID-19 infection as of Feb. 18, and nearly 2,000 deaths around the world, questions about how the virus spreads are becoming more urgent. Here’s what you should remember: COVID-19 spreads when the virus responsible for the disease, SARS-CoV-2, a coronavirus, is transmitted by one person to another in respiratory droplets. That means the virus can spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes and releases these droplets into the air, where they are either inhaled by others, or can land on other people’s mouths or noses if they’re near enough—generally a distance of about six feet (1.8 meters). Once the virus finds itself inside a new human host, it can start infecting cells and cause disease. The other thing to keep in mind is that while doctors are still learning about how this particular coronavirus behaves in the human body, it seems that SARS-CoV-2 is more likely transmitted when the infected person already has symptoms of COVID-19, including fever, cough and shortness of breath. Based on the cases described so far, doctors believe it could take SARS-CoV-2 anywhere from two to 14 days to cause symptoms, so for now, they are assuming that the virus can be spread at any time during that period. Is it better to fist bump or handshake to avoid getting COVID-19? Since the disease spreads via respiratory droplets, neither a handshake or fist bump would be a primary way to pass along the virus. An infected ...
Source: TIME: Health - Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Tags: Uncategorized COVID-19 Infectious Disease Source Type: news

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