COVID-19 is a virus strain that has only spread in people since December 2019. It is in the same family of viruses as the swine flu, SARS, and MERS.
Where Did It Originate And How?
It originated in China and is believed to have been transmitted from an animal to a human.
How Does It Spread?
Health experts are still learning about this new virus but it is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person. ~ Between people who are in close contact (within 6 feet) with an ill person. ~ Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. ~ By touching a surface or object that has the virus on it, then touching their mouth, nose, or eyes.
What Are The Symptoms?
Symptoms appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 days after exposure to the virus. Symptoms can include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing.
Who Is At Risk for COVID-19?
Certain people are at a higher risk of becoming sicker or seriously ill with COVID-19 including: ~ Older adults (60 years of age or older), and ~ People with serious chronic medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, or lung disease.
How Can I Help Protect Myself From Becoming Infected?
~ Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If not available, use hand sanitizer. ~ Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands. ~ Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing and sneezing. ~ Avoid contact with people who are sick. ~ Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces (door handles, computers, counters, tables, etc.) ~ Stay home if you are sick, and contact your healthcare provider.
What To Do If I Become Ill?
There are no medications specifically approved for coronavirus. People infected with COVID-19 should receive supportive care to help relieve symptoms. For severe cases, treatment should include care to support vital organ functions. You should contact your healthcare provider immediately. Self-quarantine is recommended to help reduce the exposure of others around you.
What Is Self-Quarantine?
Self-quarantine is the process of removing yourself from close contact with others in order to limit the other people’s potential to contract the virus and spread it even farther. Stay home, avoid traveling unless for necessity, stay at least 6 feet away from others, etc. are all important steps to this in order to slow the spread of COVID-19.
What Is "Flattening the Curve"?
"Flattening the Curve" is helping slow the spread of the virus so that our health services system is overwhelmed with requests for help. This ensures that everyone has the best chance to get the help they need when they need it.