5 Things Everyone Must Know About COVID-19


1. 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.


2. 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 other people especially anyone who is coughing or sneezing to avoid breathing in small liquid droplets (aerosol) released from their nose or mouth which may contain the COVID 19 virus and cause infection. 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 (70% minimum) or wash them with soap and water for at least 20 seconds to kill viruses that may be on your hands.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouthOur 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 make you sick.
  • Practice respiratory hygieneMake 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 a mask so as not to not spread respiratory particles or droplets to anyone else. Asymptomatic persons can spread the infection as carriers without knowing it, so always assume that you may be an asymptomatic carrier.


3. What should you do if you think you have cold or flu-like symptoms?


If you develop cold or flu-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 call your doctor immediately if your symptoms worsen or you develop shortness of breath.


4. What should you do if you have traveled recently?


Be sure to call your 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.


5. How contagious is the virus?


The virus spreads from person to person through small droplets (aerosol)  from the nose or mouth via coughing, sneezing or even speaking, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). COVID 19 virus particles can persist on most surfaces for 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 COVID 19 virus particles exist in the feces of an infected person and that the disease can be transmitted through the fecal-oral route but that remains unconfirmed.


Other COVID-19 Resources


For more information and resources about staying safe during this pandemic, please review: