Corona-viruses are a type of virus. There are many different kinds, and some cause disease. A newly identified corona-virus, SARS-CoV-2, has caused a worldwide pandemic of respiratory illness, called COVID-19.
How does the new corona-virus spread?
As of now, researchers know that the new corona-virus is spread through droplets released into the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The droplets generally do not travel more than a few feet, and they fall to the ground (or onto surfaces) in a few seconds — this is why physical distancing is effective in preventing the spread.
How did this new corona-virus spread to humans?
COVID-19 appeared in Wuhan, a city in China, in December 2019. Although health officials are still tracing the exact source of this new corona-virus, early hypotheses thought it may be linked to a seafood market in Wuhan, China. Some people who visited the market developed viral pneumonia caused by the new corona-virus. A study that came out on Jan. 25, 2020, notes that the individual with the first reported case became ill on Dec. 1, 2019, and had no link to the seafood market. Investigations are ongoing as to how this virus originated and spread.
What is the incubation period for COVID-19?
It appears that symptoms are showing up in people within 14 days of exposure to the virus.
What are symptoms of COVID-19?
COVID-19 symptoms include:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- Sore throat
- New loss of taste or smell
- Nausea or vomiting
In rare cases, COVID-19 can lead to severe respiratory problems, kidney failure or death.
If you have a fever or any kind of respiratory difficulty such as coughing or shortness of breath, call your doctor or a health care provider and explain your symptoms over the phone before going to the doctor’s office, urgent care facility or emergency room. Here are suggestions if you feel sick and are concerned you might have COVID-19. https://www.youtube.com/embed/sHP0UIdZyI4?version=3&rel=1&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&fs=1&hl=en&autohide=2&wmode=transparent
How is COVID-19 diagnosed?
Diagnosis may be difficult with only a physical exam because mild cases of COVID-19 may appear similar to the flu or a bad cold. A laboratory test can confirm the diagnosis. Learn more about COVID-19 testing.
How is COVID-19 treated?
As of now, there is not a specific treatment for the virus. People who become sick from COVID-19 should be treated with supportive measures: those that relieve symptoms. For severe cases, there may be additional options for treatment, including research drugs and therapeutics.
Does COVID-19 cause death?
As of June 30, 2020, 509,474 deaths have been attributed to COVID-19. However, 5,253,988 people have recovered from the illness. This information comes from the Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases map developed by the Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering.
Is this corona-virus different from SARS?
SARS stands for severe acute respiratory syndrome. In 2003, an outbreak of SARS started in China and spread to other countries before ending in 2004. The virus that causes COVID-19 is similar to the one that caused the 2003 SARS outbreak: both are types of corona-viruses. Much is still unknown, but COVID-19 seems to spread faster than the 2003 SARS and also may cause less severe illness.
How do you protect yourself from this corona-virus?
It’s crucial to practice good hygiene, respiratory etiquette and physical distancing. Read more about ways to protect yourself.
Corona-virus: What do I do if I Feel Sick?
- Corona-viruses are common in different animals. Rarely, an animal corona-virus can infect humans.
- There are many different kinds of corona-viruses. Some of them can cause colds or other mild respiratory (nose, throat, lung) illnesses.
- Other corona-viruses can cause more serious diseases, including severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS).
- Corona-viruses are named for their appearance: Under the microscope, the viruses look like they are covered with pointed structures that surround them like a corona, or crown.