WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
What is Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)?
2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a virus identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China.
How is it spread?
The CDC is unclear how easily or sustainably this virus is spreading between people. Person-to-person spread of coronaviruses is thought to be mainly via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The virus seems to be spreading easily and sustainably in communities (“community spread”). Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected.
What is the risk of contracting COVID-19?
Per CDC investigation, COVID-19 is considered a very serious public health threat. However, based on current information the immediate health risk from COVID-19 to the general American public remains low at this time. Available information suggests that older adults and people with underlying health conditions or compromised immune systems may be at increased risk of severe disease if possibly exposed in travel.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
In confirmed cases of COVID-19 infections, symptoms have ranged from infected people with little to no symptoms to people being severely ill and dying. Per CDC report, symptoms of COVID-19 may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 days after exposure and can include symptoms of lower respiratory illness (fever, cough, and shortness of breath).
How do I prevent catching COVID-19?
Avoiding exposure is the best course for prevention. However, the CDC recommends everyday actions to help prevent the spread of this and other respiratory viruses, including:
• Proper and regular hand washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
• Avoid close contact with people who are sick and stay home when you are sick.
• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces(keyboards, phones, counters, etc.).
• Follow CDC guidance regarding travel to areas with higher risk of exposure.
Should I be tested for COVID-19?
If you develop symptoms such as fever, cough, and/or difficulty breathing, and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or have recently traveled from an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19, stay home and call your healthcare provider. Your doctor will determine if you have signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and whether you should be referred to health department for testing.
Is COVID-19 treatable?
Currently, there is no known treatment for COVID-19. Care is supportive and includes rest, increasing fluids for fever, and providing oxygen for shortness of breath. Prevention is the best course of action. Maintaining adequate nutrition, hydration, and exercise may help to minimize severity of illness if contracted. Family and social support is helpful to reduce stress and address mental health concerns.