Can the virus enter our bodies through our skin?

This is part 20 of our coronavirus FAQ. Click here to read other installments: #Coronavirus the facts. Find the latest information and answers from experts on everything COVID-19.

What happens if the virus attaches itself to the surface of human skin?

Professor Kunishima Hiroyuki, an infectious diseases expert at St. Marianna University School of Medicine, says the virus cannot multiply unless it enters our cells.

He says the virus is known to mainly infect people through membranes in the nose or mouth, before multiplying in the throat and lungs, among other areas. It cannot multiply if it is just on the surface of our skin.

However, you can become infected if the virus is on your hands and you touch your eyes, nose, or mouth. Stay safe by washing your hands with soap or using alcohol-based disinfectant before touching your face.

Does the virus stay in our body after recovery?

Some viruses, such as herpes which causes chickenpox, remain in the body even after the person recovers. But the coronavirus is not such a virus. Your immune system will eventually get rid of it entirely.

Information accurate as of June 15, 2020.