Breaking News
More () »

This is how you catch the coronavirus

To stay safe it's important to know the science behind how the virus spreads from one person to another.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — When someone with coronavirus touches a metal object or even the plastic buttons to select the fuel type at a gas station, they could leave behind the virus. Science Daily found new research showing the virus could live on those surfaces for two to three days.

But just because you touch a surface with coronavirus on it does not mean you’re gonna coronavirus. You would also have to touch your face so the virus gets in your nose or mouth.

The UCLA professor who did the study told Science Daily when using any item out in public, a gas pump, a door knob, a shopping cart: "Be aware they could be contaminated and wash your hands afterwards."

RELATED: VERIFY: 'Coronavirus Act Now' charts use real data to estimate worst-case scenario

RELATED: VERIFY: Which disinfectants will work on the new coronavirus?

And know the World Heath Organization says there’s a much more common way to get the virus.

“The new coronavirus may spread through respiratory droplets, which are liquids that may come out when we cough or sneeze," their online video says.

That means if someone with coronavirus sneezes near you, they fling the virus out into the air where you could breathe it in and get infected.

This is why it’s so important to stay at least six feet away from everyone else. Medical experts say there’s very little chance the virus can travel that far in the air.

And if you’re the one coughing:

“Cover your mouth and nose with flexed elbow like this. Or use a tissue. If you use a tissue, discard it immediately into a closed waste bin," WHO advises.

So the bottom line: you don’t need to bring out your gardening gloves to touch stuff in public. But it is a good idea to avoid touching your face while you’re out and about and wash your hands as soon as you get back.

Before You Leave, Check This Out