What is Coronavirus (COVID-19)? A Brief Overview.

What is Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

Summary: The novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. The disease was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, and is now a pandemic that has been detected worldwide.

 

Why is the Disease Being Called Coronavirus Disease 2019, COVID – 19?

The new name of this disease is coronavirus disease 2019, abbreviated as COVID-19.

In COVID-19,

  • ‘CO’ stands for ‘corona,’
  • ‘VI’ for ‘virus,’ and
  • ‘D’ for disease.

Formerly, this disease was referred to as “2019 novel coronavirus” or “2019-nCoV”.

 

How Does Coronavirus Spread?

Because COVID-19 is a new disease, the CDC is still learning how it spreads.

COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly from:

  • Person to person contact,
  • Close contact between people (within approximately 6 feet),
  • Respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks. 

COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms.

 

Symptoms

People COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms. Symptoms may appear 1-14 days after exposure to the virus. Reported cases of respiratory illness caused by COVID-19 have ranged from mild to severe, some resulting in death.

Reported signs and symptoms of COVID-19 may include:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

This list is not all-inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any symptoms that are severe or concerning.

 

When to Seek Emergency Medical Attention

You should immediately seek medical attention if you begin to exhibit emergency warning signs for COVID-19.

These warning signs may include, but are not limited to:

  • Difficulty with breathing
  • Persistent pressure or pain in the chest
  • New confusion or inability to arouse
  • Bluish lips or face

*PLEASE NOTE, this list is not all-inclusive. Please call your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.

 

How Can I Protect Myself and Others?

You can take the following steps to slow the spread:

  • Practice social distancing by placing significant distance between yourself and other people. about 6 feet). This is critical in preventing the spread of COVID-19.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Clean surfaces or objects that are frequently touched daily in order to disinfect them.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face coverings in public settings or when around others in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19
  • Stay home if you are sick, and avoid close contact with people who are sick.

 Those who are at higher risk of a more severe coronavirus illness may include older adults or people with underlying medical conditions.

There is currently no vaccine available to prevent COVID-19 and no specific antiviral medication to treat it. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus.

 

How Can You Help Slow Down the Spread of Coronavirus?

You can help protect yourself and limit the spread of disease with these tips:

  • Avoid public spaces if you feel sick.
  • Avoid social gatherings in groups of more than 10 people.
  • Practice social distancing (allow 6 feet of space between you and other people).
  • Re-consider non-essential errands, travel, and social visits.
  • Avoid eating or drinking in restaurants, bars, or food courts.
  • Visit loved ones via electronic devices instead of in person.
  • Commit to good hand hygiene.
  • Don’t share personal items such as food, drinks, or utensils.
  • Avoid visiting nursing homes, long-term care, or retirement facilities.
  • Wear cloth masks to cover your mouth and nose while in public places.