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October 2020

Ask the Expert: How does COVID-19 spread?

Written by Nathalie Leblond
Ask the Expert, COVID-19

It must be one of the most frequently googled topics of 2020, but how COVID-19 spreads is still something that many people are confused by.

Whilst we have some really useful content on the Coronavirus page of our website, including free handwashing and hand hygiene posters we thought it might be helpful to include a short infographic to help explain how COVID-19 spreads. 

The World Health Organisation explains that people catch COVID-19 from other people who have the virus. (There are some misconceptions around whether animals can pass COVID-19 to people: you can read our blog on our sister site, deBugged, for more on this topic.) 

The disease mainly spreads from person to person when small droplets from the nose or mouth (which are expelled when a person infected with COVID-19 coughs, sneezes, or speaks) are breathed in by someone who is not infected with the virus.  This is why it is important to stay at least 1 meter away from other people.

Droplets can also land on objects and surfaces around the infected person - such as tables, doorknobs and handrails.  People can become infected by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth. This is why it is important to wash your hands regularly with soap and water or clean with alcohol-based hand rub. 

This is also why it is so important to do a full disinfection service of any premise that has a confirmed COVID-19 case on site, to ensure that any and all frequently touched surfaces are completely safe for other colleagues, and to eliminate the risk of additional colleagues becoming infected with COVID-19.

And in case you think daily cleaning is enough, read more about why Disinfection services are so important in our blog post: "do you understand the difference between cleaning and disinfecting?"

How the Coronavirus spreads from person to person infographic

We hope you've found this useful, and if you have, you may also be interested in our comprehensive handwashing guide, which you can find here to download. For more great hygiene insights, subscribe to our blog. Visit our COVID-19 Services page for more information.

Download Handwashing Guide

Nathalie Leblond

Nathalie Leblond

I joined Rentokil Initial South Africa in 2004 as the PA to the MD, and after 6 months maternity leave I re-joined the Company in 2009 as the Marketing Co-ordinator for Rentokil. I'm now the Marketing Communication Manager for Rentokil Initial. I'm still terrified of cockroaches (Americana's only!) but the rest of the creepy crawlies we deal with don't really bug me (see what I did there?), so I guess I'm in the right industry! I am passionate about what we do here at Rentokil Initial and also write for our Hygiene Blog, which can be found at www.initial.co.za. Life outside of Rentokil mostly revolves around my daughter, who has just turned eleven, and my husband (who is a bit older). I love living in Cape Town and wouldn't trade living here for anywhere else in the world.

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