What is coronavirus (COVID-19)? COVID-19 is a respiratory illness caused by a coronavirus that was first identified in China.
What are the symptoms? The most common symptoms are fever, cough, and shortness of breath, but occasionally symptoms are more severe. Those with more severe symptoms are generally found to have pneumonia. Symptoms typically appear within two to fourteen days after exposure.
How is COVID-19 spread? The virus is airborne and spreads from person to person through coughing and sneezing. These respiratory droplets may also land on surfaces and live for hours or days and can be picked up if you touch these surfaces such as doorknobs, handrails, etc. and then touch your face (mouth, nose, eyes).
Is there a vaccine? There is currently NO vaccine and it will likely be a year before one is available. However, the first human trial began on 3/17/2020.
Is it true that people can infect others before they have symptoms? Yes. It is believed a person can be contagious several days before symptoms appear.
How do I protect myself and my family? Basic measures to stay healthy include washing your hands frequently, for at least 20 seconds, maintaining social distance, and avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth. A face mask is recommended for people who have symptoms consistent with COVID-19 to protect others from the risk of getting infected. Stay at home (self-quarantine) if you begin to feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache and slightly runny nose, until you recover. If you have fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, seek medical care. Call ahead before you go to a doctor’s office, urgent care or emergency room.
If you get the virus and recover are you immune or can you get it again? This is being studied. For other coronavirus infections, it is unlikely to occur after recovery. However, it is truly unknown at this time regarding COVID-19.
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