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Contact based transmission of SARS-CoV-2 - a rapid review

The findings in this memo are based on rapid searches in the PubMed. One re-searcher went through all search records, selected and summarised the find-ings. In the current situation, there is an urgent need for identifying the most important evidence quickly. Hence, we opted for this rapid approach despite an inherent risk of overlooking key evidence or making misguided judgements.

Forside omslag notat contact trans covid-19_ENG.jpg

The findings in this memo are based on rapid searches in the PubMed. One re-searcher went through all search records, selected and summarised the find-ings. In the current situation, there is an urgent need for identifying the most important evidence quickly. Hence, we opted for this rapid approach despite an inherent risk of overlooking key evidence or making misguided judgements.


Key message

Updated version available

This version is outdated. The new version can be found here: Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 via contact and droplets, 1st update – a rapid review

The findings in this memo are based on rapid searches in the PubMed. One researcher went through all search records, selected and summarised the findings. In the current situation, there is an urgent need for identifying the most important evidence quickly. Hence, we opted for this rapid approach despite an inherent risk of overlooking key evidence or making misguided judgements.

We identified four eligible systematic reviews and ten eligible primary studies. Eligible studies are summarised in text and tables.

Systematic reviews conclude that viruses that resembles SARS-CoV-2, i.e. SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV, are likely to transmit through a combination of paths. Currently available evidence suggests this is the case also for SARS-CoV-2. The virus seems to transmit between people staying in close proximity to each other, but indirect transmission through inanimate surfaces (fomites) may also occur. Current evidence is not sufficient to conclude about the relative importance of different ways of transmission in different settings.

Downloadable as PDF. In English. Norwegian summary.

About this publication

  • Year: 2020
  • By: Norwegian Institute of Public Health
  • Authors Brurberg KG.
  • ISBN (digital): 978-82-8406-079-8