The Virus & Transmission

Dr. Patrick Boyle, a faculty member in Pacific's School of Physician Assistant Studies, explains the virus above. Watch in Spanish.

What is COVID-19?

  • SARS-CoV-2 is a type of coronavirus that causes a Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), among other symptoms.
  • COVID-19 is the specific disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

How is it transmitted?

  • Through air by droplets emitted when you are close to an infected person who coughs and/or sneezes
  • By touching hard, smooth surfaces that have been contaminated by the virus, followed by touching your face, especially your mouth, nose and eyes
  • Transmission can occur a few days before symptoms appear or when carriers are asymptomatic

How serious is it?

  • It appears that 80% of infected people will have a mild case.
  • However, 1 in 5 will require hospitalization
  • People with underlying health conditions are at higher risk for a severe case

Learn more from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.