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Show full transcript for Routes of transmission incubation and the infectious period video

In this video, we will quote exactly what is on the gov.uk website regarding the routes of transmission, incubation and infectious period.

Infection control advice is based on the reasonable assumption that the transmission characteristics of COVID-19 are similar to those of the 2003 SARS outbreak.

The transmission of COVID-19 is thought to occur mainly through respiratory droplets generated by coughing and sneezing and through contact with contaminated surfaces.

During aerosol-generating procedures or AGP’s, there is an increased risk of aerosol spread of infectious agents irrespective of the mode of transmission (contact, droplet, or airborne), and airborne precautions must be implemented, including those carried out on a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19.

Initial research has identified the presence of COVID-19 virus in the stools and conjunctival secretions of confirmed cases. All secretions (except sweat) and excretions, including diarrhoeal stools from patients with known or possible COVID-19, should be regarded as potentially infectious.

The incubation period is from 1 to 14 days (with an average of 5 days). Assessment of the clinical and epidemiological characteristics of COVID-19 cases suggests that similar to SARS, most patients will not be infectious until the onset of symptoms.

In most cases, individuals are usually considered infectious while they have symptoms; how infectious individuals are, depends on the severity of their symptoms and stage of their illness.

The median time from symptom onset to clinical recovery for mild cases is approximately 2 weeks and is 3 to 6 weeks for severe or critical cases. There have been case reports that suggest possible infectivity prior to the onset of symptoms, with detection of COVID 19 in some individuals, before the onset of symptoms.

Further study is required to determine the frequency, importance and impact of asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic infection, in terms of transmission risks.

From international data, the balance of evidence is that most people will have sufficiently reduced infectivity 7 days after the onset of symptoms.