How does the new coronavirus disease, Covid-19, spread? That’s just one of many basic, unanswered questions about this latest pandemic threat.

The virus that causes Covid-19 — known as SARS-CoV-2 — has already infected more than 75,000 people in two months. (Of them, 2,130 have died.) And the best explanation for this rapid spread is that it’s being passed through droplets from coughing or sneezing. When these virus-laden droplets from an infected person reach the nose, eyes, or mouth of another, they can transmit the disease.

But are there other ways SARS-CoV-2 moves between people? And what do they tell us about why this disease seems to be even more contagious than SARS and MERS? The latest science on the virus offers possible answers to these questions — and why Covid-19 might be particularly difficult to stop. Here’s what we know so far.

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