What are coronaviruses?
Coronaviruses are a large group of viruses that can cause illness in animals and humans. Some coronaviruses commonly circulate in the United States and usually cause upper respiratory symptoms such as cough or runny nose, although some can cause more serious illness. The 2019 novel (new) coronavirus causes the illness coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
What is COVID-19?
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a disease that was identified in Wuhan, China, and is now being spread throughout the world. People are encouraged to take common sense precautions to prevent the spread of all infectious diseases, including COVID-19.
- Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds at a time.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are ill.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
- Do not reuse tissue after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched.
How does COVID-19 spread?
Coronaviruses like COVID-19 are most often spread through the air by coughing or sneezing, through close personal contact (including touching and shaking hands) or through touching your nose, mouth or eyes before washing your hands. Learn more from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) about how COVID-19 spreads and how to protect yourself and your community from getting and spreading respiratory illnesses.
Exposure and symptoms
Symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough and shortness of breath. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure.
If you think you may have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop symptoms, you may need to seek medical attention. Call your local health department for further guidance. Before going to a health care provider, clinic, hospital or emergency room, call ahead to describe your symptoms and how you may have been exposed to the virus. In the event of an emergency call 9-1-1.