People can have symptoms 2 to 14 days after being exposed. Symptoms can be mild to very serious and life-threatening. Symptoms include:
- Shortness of Breath
Cause and Background
- A new coronavirus, named COVID-19, causes this infection. Coronaviruses are a group of viruses that are common in animals like camels, cats and bats. They are not as common in people.
- The first cases occurred in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China in late 2019. The virus has spread to many people living in China. Cases in other countries have occurred in people who recently traveled from China.
How Is Coronavirus (COVID-19) Spread?
- Experts are still trying to figure out the exact ways this virus spreads.
- The virus may have first spread from animals to humans. It is now known to spread from person to person.
- Spread from one person to another can occur when there is close contact (within about 6 feet).
- Experts believe the main way it is spread is when an infected person sneezes or coughs. This sends droplets (that contain the virus) into the air. People close-by can become infected if the droplets land in their mouth or nose or are breathed into their lungs.
- It is not yet known if the virus can spread by touching a surface that has the virus on it.
- The virus germs are on used tissues and handkerchiefs. Germs are also on people’s hands after coughing and sneezing.
What Does Exposure to Coronavirus Mean?
Exposure to coronavirus (COVID-19) includes the following:
- Close contact with a person with confirmed or possible coronavirus (COVID-19) in the past 14 days.
- Close contact means a person lives with or has been nearby (within 6 feet) of a person
with known or suspected coronavirus.
- Examples of close contact are kissing, hugging, and sharing food or drinks. Other examples are having
close conversations, sharing same car, and sitting next to an infected person on an airplane.
- Healthcare workers may have close contact when examining and caring for people who are sick with this
- Household members and others who live with a confirmed or possible case.
- Live in China (or other outbreak area).
- Traveled to China (or other outbreak area) in the past 14 days.
How to Prevent Getting Coronavirus
There is no vaccine to prevent coronavirus. Here are things you can do protect yourself from coronavirus and other viral infections like the flu:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water.
- Avoid kissing, hugging or shaking hands with others who are sick.
- Do not share food or drink.
- Do not share eating utensils with others.
Travel and Affected Areas
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends avoiding travel to areas where there is a coronavirus outbreak (People’s Republic of China). To see the latest recommendations, go to: Coronavirus CDC Information for Travel.
Where Can I Find More Information?
Here are two internet resources that provide the latest up-to-date information on coronavirus: