- What is COVID-19?
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus. Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.
- What precautions should you take?
Everyone is encouraged to take precautions to avoid being exposed to COVID-19 – regardless of age or precondition.
- Social Distancing: Maintain at least 6 feet distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing so that when someone coughs or sneezes they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person coughing has the disease.
- Wash your hands frequently
Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water to kill viruses that may be on your hands.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth
Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick.
- Practice respiratory hygiene
Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately. When in public wear mask as to not spread respiratory particles to anyone else. Asymptomatic persons can spread the infection as carriers without knowing it, so always assume that you may be an asymptomatic carrier.
- What should you do if you think you have cold-like symptoms?
If you develop cold-like symptoms, stay home, rest, and avoid exposing others until you feel better. Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and throw the tissue away. Do visit a doctor if your symptoms worsen or you develop shortness of breath.
- What should you do if you have traveled recently?
Be sure to visit a doctor if you have traveled to a country with widespread COVID-19 within the last two weeks and have symptoms of fever, cough or shortness of breath.
- How contagious is the virus?
The virus spreads from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth via coughing or sneezing, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). It can persist on most surfaces up to several days, so in addition to directly inhaling the virus, you can become infected by touching something that has been contaminated and then touching your own nose, mouth or eyes. There is some evidence that virus particles in the feces of an infected person can transmit the disease through contact, but that remains unconfirmed.