Causes & Risk Factors
Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that are common in people and different species of animals, including cattle, camels, cats and bats. Similar to the flu or other respiratory infections, COVID-19 is mainly spread from person to person. A spread is most likely to happen between people in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) and through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
Although not believed to be the primary way the virus spreads, it may be possible for a person to contract COVID-19 by touching a contaminated surface or object and then touching their nose, mouth or eyes.
Certain populations are believed to be at higher risk of developing serious COVID-19 illness, including older adults and people with underlying chronic health conditions like heart disease, lung disease and diabetes. If you are at high risk, limit travel and close contact with others, wash your hands frequently and talk to your doctor about what to do if you get sick.