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How coronavirus is spread

Last updated: 29 April 2020 at 2.05pm

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is spread in sneeze or cough droplets.

You could get the virus if you:

  • come into close contact with someone who has the virus and is coughing or sneezing
  • touch surfaces that someone who has the virus has coughed or sneezed on and bring your unwashed hands to your face (eyes, nose or mouth)

How long the virus can survive on surfaces

Common household disinfectants will kill the virus on surfaces. Clean the surface first and then use a disinfectant.

Coronavirus can survive for:

  • up to 72 hours on plastic and stainless steel
  • less than 4 hours on copper
  • less than 24 hours on cardboard

Learn how to protect yourself and others from coronavirus.

Pets and coronavirus

There is no evidence that pets such as cats and dogs can spread coronavirus to humans.

It is best to protect yourself by properly cleaning your hands often when in contact with pets.

Read advice on how to wash your hands properly.

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Face masks and disposable gloves