Human coronaviruses likely spread from an infected person to others through the air by coughing and sneezing, close personal contact, touching or shaking hands, touching an object or surface with germs on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing your hands.
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. These illnesses usually only last for a short amount of time and are considered mild.
Common human coronaviruses usually cause mild to moderate upper-respiratory tract illnesses, not unlike the common cold. Most people get infected with these viruses at some point in their lives. Symptoms may include:
- Runny nose
- Sore throat
- A general feeling of being unwell