Purpose of review
The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic caused by the novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a global health threat associated with major socioeconomic disruptions. Understanding on the transmission characteristics of SARS-CoV-2 is crucial for optimizing preventive strategies.
SARS-CoV-2 can be transmitted efficiently between persons through respiratory droplets and direct and indirect contact. The significance of airborne droplet nuclei in SARS-CoV-2 transmission in the community setting is less clear. SARS-CoV-2 RNA and live viral particles may also be detected in other bodily fluids. Outbreaks have been reported in families, nursing homes, markets, restaurants, churches, shipping vessels, gyms, and healthcare facilities. Nonpharmaceutical preventive measures at both the community and individual levels are essential for reducing the transmission of SARS-CoV-2.
Because well tolerated and effective vaccines for SARS-CoV-2 are unlikely to be widely available in the near future, there is an urgent need for finding other measures to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. With better understanding of its transmission characteristics, practical nonpharmaceutical preventive measures remain essential to reduce SARS-CoV-2 transmission and its associated health and socioeconomic burdens.