Updated CDC guidance says coronavirus can spread through the air

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated guidance on its website to say coronavirus can commonly spread “through respiratory droplets or small particles, such as those in aerosols,” which are produced even when a person breathes.

“Airborne viruses, including COVID-19, are among the most contagious and easily spread,” the site now says.

Previously, the CDC page said that COVID-19 was thought to spread mainly between people in close contact — about 6 feet — and “through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks.”

The page, updated Friday, still says COVID-19 most commonly spreads between people who are in close contact with one another, and now says the virus is known to spread “through respiratory droplets or small particles, such as those in aerosols, produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, sings, talks or breathes.”

These particles can cause infection when “inhaled into the nose, mouth, airways, and lungs,” it says. “This is thought to be the main way the virus spreads.”

Protect yourself and others

The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. You can take steps to slow the spread.

Learn more about what you can do to protect yourself and others.

Source: Updated CDC guidance says coronavirus can spread through the air