COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by a novel coronavirus — SARS-CoV-2 — discovered in late 2019. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses responsible for a wide range of diseases, from the common cold and influenza to MERS and SARS.
Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. Older people, those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, chronic respiratory disease, cancer, and those who are immunocompromised, are more likely to develop serious illness.
People with COVID-19 have reported a wide range of symptoms, from mild to severe.
Most common symptoms are:
Other common symptoms include:
Symptoms can appear 2-14 days after exposure.
If you have any of these emergency warning signs for COVID-19, get medical attention immediately:
This list is not all-inclusive. Please consult your primary care provider about any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.
If you are experiencing coronavirus symptoms (i.e. fever, cough or difficulty breathing), you may be eligible for testing. Please consult with your primary care provider to determine if you should seek further care, including possible testing for COVID-19.
If your symptoms become severe, you should seek medical care, but call ahead to the provider or hospital so they can make arrangements to limit exposure to others during your arrival or inform the 911 dispatcher in an emergency.
Coronavirus doesn’t seem to spread through exposure to food. Still, it’s good to wash fruits and vegetables under running water before you eat them. Scrub them with a brush or your hands to remove any germs that might be on their surface. Wash your hands after you visit the supermarket. If you have a weakened immune system, you may consider buying frozen or canned produce.
Coronavirus hasn’t been found in drinking water. If it does get into the water supply, your local water treatment plant filters and disinfects the water, which should kill any germs.
Clean and disinfect all surfaces and objects in your home and office daily to reduce your chance of catching or spreading coronavirus.