Information sources

Information Sources

[Date of latest publication cited: September 20, 2021]

Since the pandemic started, many organizations published information on these topics in three types of formats:

So this web page meets the needs of people who want a synopsis of the latest discoveries on COVID-19 transmission and prevention, in one location, in plain English, with links and references to the many research articles supporting each statement.  Most people’s information needs are satisfied by the news reports and public health recommendations.  But many health professionals, researchers, interested people, and leaders of organizations and groups would want this web page’s “one stop shopping” summary with links to each scientific article explaining the reasons for the recommendations.

Most articles referred to here are peer-reviewed journal publications, or preprint postings from medRxiv and bioRxiv, or popular science articles, or companies’ web sites with reliable information.  I searched PubMed for peer-reviewed or good quality articles, preprints, and research reports specifically on transmission routes of coronavirus disease COVID-19, using the search terms “coronavirus”, “COVID-19”, “SARS-CoV-2”, “2019-nCoV”, “transmission”, “saliva”, “mucous”, “blood”, “feces”, “fecal”, “fomite”, “surface”, “droplet”, “aerosol”, “asymptomatic”, “pregnancy”, “birth”, “childbirth”, “dog”, “cat”, “sexual transmission”, “vagina”, “testes”, “semen”, and “food”.  I included original research studies of the community transmission routes of COVID-19 infected people.  I excluded publications on: nosocomial infections in health care facilities; pathology; medical treatment; other coronaviruses; epidemiology and demographic statistics and disparities; mathematical models and predictions; and zoonotic origins from animals.  Articles published in English, and some translated from Chinese, were included.

Researchers are publishing new articles daily, so I will continue updating and revising this web page daily.  I selected articles with tangible, practical answers to four questions:

Which bodily fluids transmitted SARS-CoV-2 from an infected person to another person?

Which tissues and organs received SARS-CoV-2 and started developing infection?

Which non-pharmaceutical methods could people use to prevent these transmissions?

What other factors affected these processes, including air, locations, and immunity?

This approach differs from a review of the literature which counts the numbers of articles writing about each topic, and summarizes consensus on each.