What is Corona Virus (COVID-19)?
Corona Virus are a type of virus. There are many different kinds, and some cause disease. A newly identified type has caused a recent outbreak of respiratory illness now called COVID-19 that started in China.
Facts About Corona Virus
- Coronaviruses are common in different animals. Rarely, an animal coronavirus can infect humans.
- There are many different kinds of coronaviruses. Some of them can cause colds or other mild respiratory (nose, throat, lung) illnesses.
- Other coronaviruses can cause more serious diseases, including severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS).
- Coronaviruses 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.
Symptoms of Corona Virus (COVID-19)
Coronavirus is a respiratory disease that seems to start with a fever, followed by a dry cough. After a week, it leads to shortness of breath and some patients require hospital treatment.
These symptoms do not necessarily mean you have the illness. They are similar to those for much more common viruses, such as colds and flu.
In more severe cases, coronavirus can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, multiple organ failure, and even death.
Older people, and people with pre-existing medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease), are more likely to become severely ill.
The incubation period – between infection and showing any symptoms – lasts up to 14 days, the World Health Organization (WHO) says. But some researchers say it may be up to 24 days.
How to Protect Yourself from Corona Virus
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has these suggestions:
- Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly for at least 20 seconds. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water aren’t available.
- Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects people frequently touch.
What should I do if I think I have coronavirus?
If you are sick with COVID-19 or suspect you are infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, follow the steps below to help prevent the disease from spreading to people in your home and community.
- Stay home except to get medical care
- Separate yourself from other people and animals in your home
- Call ahead before visiting your doctor
- Wear a facemask
- Cover your coughs and sneezes
- Clean your hands often
- Avoid sharing personal household items
- Clean all “high-touch” surfaces everyday.
- Monitor your symptoms
- Discontinuing home isolation
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