About the COVID-19 coronavirus

COVID-19 and how to stay informed

The 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a type of coronavirus identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China (source: CDC). Read more about COVID-19.

How is the virus spread?

The CDC thinks that COVID-19 is spread mainly from person-to-person, particularly between people who are in close contact with one another.

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks.
  • These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
  • COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms.

According to the CDC, the best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. You can take steps to slow the spread.

Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face covering when around others.

Stop the Spread of Germs poster (PDF)

What are the symptoms?

Patients with confirmed COVID-19 infection have reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

The CDC believes at this time that symptoms of COVID-19 may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 after exposure.

CDC message about COVID-19 rumors: “Know the facts about coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and help stop the spread of rumors.”

Share Facts About COVID-19 (PDF)

Who should seek medical attention?

Patients with fever and/or acute respiratory illness who have traveled in the past 14 days to an area affected by COVID-19, or who have had close contact with someone who is under investigation for, or lab-confirmed, with COVID-19 should seek medical attention.