Overview

For the most up-to-date information on the novel coronavirus, see the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website. Learn what to do if you are sick and how to prevent spread in your community.

 

What is the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19)?

COVID-19 (more formally known as SARS-CoV-2”) is a disease caused by a new type of virus from the “coronavirus” family. COVID-19 was first identified in Wuhan, China, in late 2019 and is now being spread through the world.

 

How does COVID-19 spread?

The disease most often spreads through small droplets that travel from person to person on coughs and sneezes, or through close personal contact (including shaking hands). Some people catch COVID-19 by touching objects or surfaces onto which someone has coughed or sneezed, and then touching their eyes, nose or mouth.

 

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough and shortness of breath. These symptoms may appear 2-14 days following exposure to the disease.

 

How severe is the disease if contracted?

According to the World Health Organization, most cases of COVID-19 are mild; around 80 percent of people recover without needing special treatment. The remaining 20 percent of people who contract COVID-19 become seriously ill and may need

hospital care.

 

Who is most at risk?

The disease poses the greatest risk to older persons and those with pre-existing conditions such as high blood pressure and heart or lung disease.

 

How can I protect myself from COVID-19?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends cleaning your hands often, washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, and avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands. The WHO also encourages practicing social distancing: maintaining at least three feet of distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing, and staying home if you feel sick.

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