According to World Health Organization,(WHO), the fast ravaging Coronavius is now in its community transmission stage. What does that mean?. Here is all you need to know:

The term community transmission means an illness spreads in such a way that the source of its infection is not known. One can catch an infection from other people — at work or while out shopping — and from people who “probably don’t think” they have it.

If a person is diagnosed with COVID-19, her or his infection is either linked to travel history to a country where the disease is widespread, or if that person has come in contact with someone who is already infected.

But when the source of transmission for a large number of people is not traceable it is called a community transmission.

Most types of influenza and bird flu outbreaks in the past were known to have spread through community transmission. The outbreak of H1N1 in 2009, commonly known as swine flu, was primarily through community transmission.

Why you should worry

Contact tracing means when a case of coronavirus is detected, each individual with whom the patient has come in contact is closely monitored. If necessary, these individuals can be kept in isolation to prevent the infection from spreading further.

In the case of community transmission, contact tracing is inadequate in containing the disease. This is because any person — irrespective of whether she or he has been exposed to an already infected person or have travelled to affected countries — remains vulnerable.

This is particularly worrisome for health officials because that means the virus is in the community but no one knows where it has come from or track its origins. This also means the virus can be widespread in a community.