There are a number of ways that germs can be spread, but the most common are by direct and indirect contact and through the air.
Germs can be spread through contact:
Germs can spread from one person to another through direct contact when people shake hands, hug or kiss.
Germs can spread from one person to another through indirect contact if people touch something with germs already on it, like a doorknob, and then touch their eyes, nose or mouth. Germs can also be spread by sharing items like cups or pens.
Germs can be spread in the air:
Droplets containing germs are released into the air when people cough or sneeze. These tiny droplets can travel as far as 6 feet and can spread germs by landing on surfaces or in another person’s eyes, nose or mouth.
In rare instances, remains of these droplets can be suspended in the air for hours and may be carried by air currents farther away than larger droplets. Other people can breathe in these droplets.