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Coronaviruses

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Transmission

Man sneezing
Coronaviruses likely spread via coughing, sneezing, or direct contact between an infected and an uninfected person. (Credit: CDC/Brian Judd)

Scientists are not certain how coronaviruses spread. Most likely, an infected person either coughs or sneezes, releasing airborne particles that infect others, or comes in direct physical contact with an uninfected person, such as by shaking hands.

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus also was found to spread through the air from feces. Scientists are not yet certain how Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus infects people, though they do know it can move from person to person when people are in prolonged close contact.

Last Updated October 28, 2013

Last Reviewed October 28, 2013