What You Need to Know About COVID-19

Gerald Lombardo
Posted by Gerald Lombardo
Updated on

By now everyone has heard about the Coronavirus (also known as COVID-19). But the amount of information out there can sometimes be overwhelming. To stay safe, you don’t need to know everything about the Coronavirus, but you should understand the following basics.

COVID-19 Symptoms

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, and dry cough. Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea. These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. Some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms and don't feel unwell. Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing special treatment. Around 1 out of every 6 people who gets COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and develops difficulty breathing. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness. People with fever, cough and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention.

How does COVID-19 spread?

People can catch COVID-19 from others who have the virus. The disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales. These droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person. Other people then catch COVID-19 by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth. People can also catch COVID-19 if they breathe in droplets from a person with COVID-19 who coughs out or exhales droplets. This is why it is important to stay more than 1 meter (3 feet) away from a person who is sick.

World Health Organization is assessing ongoing research on the ways COVID-19 is spread and will continue to share updated findings.

What You Should Do

  • Stay Informed
    CDC is updating its website daily with the latest information and advice for the public. (www.cdc.gov/ncov)
  • Remember to Take Everyday Preventive Actions
    that are always recommended to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses.
  • If You Feel Sick
    with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, and have traveled to China or were in close contact with someone with 2019-nCoV in the 14 days before you began to feel sick, seek medical care. Before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room, call ahead and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.

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