The ways that common human coronaviruses spread have not been studied very much. However, human coronaviruses likely spread from an infected person to others through—
- the air by coughing and sneezing
- close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
- touching an object or surface with germs on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing your hands
- rarely, fecal contamination
In the United States, people usually get infected with common human coronaviruses in the fall and winter. However, you can get infected at any time of the year. Most people will get infected with one or more of the common human coronaviruses in their lifetime. Young children are most likely to get infected. However, people can have multiple infections in their lifetime.