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Coronavirus: COVID-19: Home

What you need to know about the COVID-19 Coronavirus.

Coronavirus

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What is a Coronavirus?

Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV)A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.

Coronaviruses are zoonotic, meaning they are transmitted between animals and people.  Detailed investigations found that SARS-CoV was transmitted from civet cats to humans and MERS-CoV from dromedary camels to humans. Several known coronaviruses are circulating in animals that have not yet infected humans.

Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.

Standard recommendations to prevent infection spread include regular hand washing, covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, thoroughly cooking meat and eggs. Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.

- World Health Organization

World Health Organization (WHO) News

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What Is It and How Does It Spread?

Symptoms

Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death for confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases.

The following symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure.*

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

*This is based on what has been seen previously as the incubation period of MERS-CoV viruses.

- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Prevention

There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent spread of respiratory diseases, including:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touches objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • It is not recommended that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases. (Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of a facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in a close setting.)
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

- Adapted from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

What to Do If You Are Sick

Stay home except to get medical care

  • Stay home: People who are mildly ill with COVID-19 are able to isolate at home during their illness. You should restrict activities outside your home, except for getting medical care.
  • Avoid public areas: Do not go to work, school, or public areas.
  • Avoid public transportation: Avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis.

Separate yourself from other people and animals in your home

  • Stay away from others: As much as possible, you should stay in a specific room and away from other people in your home. Also, you should use a separate bathroom, if available.
  • Limit contact with pets and animals: You should restrict contact with pets and other animals while you are sick with COVID-19, just like you would around other people. Although there have not been reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19, it is still recommended that people sick with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is know about the virus. If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, washer your hands before and after you interact with them and wear a facemask.

Call ahead before visiting your doctor

  • Call ahead: If you have a medical appointment, call the healthcare provider and tell them that you have or may have COVID-19. This will help the healthcare provider's office take steps to keep other people from getting infected or exposed.

Wear a facemask

  • If you are sick: You should wear a facemask when you are around other people or pets and before you enter a healthcare provider's office.
  • If you are caring for others: If the person who is sick is not able to wear a facemask, then people who live with the person who is sick should not stay in the a same room with them, or they should wear a facemask if they enter a room with the person who is sick.

Cover your coughs and sneezes and clean your hands

  • Cover: Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • Dispose: Throw used tissues in a lined trash can.
  • Wash hands: Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or, if soap and water are not available, clean your hands with alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Always wash your hands immediately after blowing your nose. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Avoid sharing personal household items

  • Do not share: You should not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, or bedding with other people or pets in your home.
  • Wash thoroughly after use: After using these items, they should be wash thoroughly with soap and water.

Clean all "high-touch" surfaces everyday

  • Clean and disinfect: Practice routine cleaning of high-touch surfaces. These include counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, bedside tables, and light switches.
  • Disinfect areas that have bodily fluids: Clean any surfaces that may have blood, stool, or body fluids on them.
  • Household cleaners: Use a household cleaning spray or wipe, according to the label instructions.

Monitor your symptoms

  • Seek medical attention: Seek prompt medical attention if your illness is worsening.
  • Call your doctor: Before seeking care, call your healthcare provider and tell them that you have, or are being evaluated for, COVID-19.
  • Wear a facemask when sick: Put on a facemask before you enter the facility. These steps will help the healthcare provider's office to keep other people from getting infected or exposed.
  • Alert heath department: Ask your healthcare provider to call the local or state health department. Persons who are placed under active monitoring or facilitated self-monitoring should follow instructions provided by their local health department or occupational health professionals as appropriate.
  • Call 911 if you have a medical emergency: If you have a medical emergency and need to call 911, notify the dispatch personnel that you have or are being evaluated for COVID-19. If possible, put on a facemask before emergency medical services arrive.

Discontinuing home isolation

  • Stay at home until instructed to leave: Patients with confirmed COVID-19 should remain under home isolation precautions until the risk of secondary transmission to others is thought to be low.
  • Talk to your healthcare provider: The decision to discontinue home isolation precautions should be made on a case-by-case basis, in consultation with healthcare providers and state and local health departments.

- Adapted from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention