According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the risk of contracting an infection is low, but there are steps that individuals can take to help minimize and prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What is Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)?
The Coronavirus (COVID-19), first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, is a new virus that causes respiratory illness in people, ranging from the common cold to respiratory disease of more severity. A novel coronavirus is a new strain of coronavirus that hasn’t been identified before in humans. Knowledge continues to evolve with time about this newly emerging infectious disease.
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What are the symptoms?
Individuals who get sick with COVID-19 develop mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of:
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Severe illness (sickness)
How is it treated?
There is currently no vaccine to prevent novel coronavirus infection, although scientists at the National Institute of Health reported they are going to take steps towards the development of a vaccine. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus.
How can I protect myself?
The CDC recommends everyday preventative actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Avoid touching face (eyes, nose, and mouth) with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw it in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Practice social distancing; avoid groups larger than 10.
What should I do if I traveled from overseas and feel sick?
If you were recently in an area that is currently experiencing a high infection rate of COVID-19 and feel sick with a fever, cough, or have difficulty breathing within 14 days after you left, you should:
- Seek medical care right away. Before you go to a doctor's office or emergency room, call ahead and tell them about your recent travel and symptoms.
- Self-quarantine and avoid contact with others.
- Not travel while sick.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
- Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds to avoid spreading the virus to others. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.