March 15, 2020

What is corona-virus?

Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that will cause illnesses like the cold, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), and therefore the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS).

In 2019, a replacement coronavirus was identified because of the explanation for a disease outbreak in China.

The virus is now referred to as the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV- 2).

The disease it causes is named coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Cases of COVID-19 are reported during a growing number of nations, including the U.S. Public health groups, like the planet Health Organization (WHO) and therefore the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), are monitoring things and posting updates on their websites.

These groups have also issued recommendations for preventing and treating the illness.

What are the symptoms?

Signs and symptoms of COVID-19 may appear two to 14 days after exposure and may
  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

The severity of COVID-19 symptoms can range from very mild to severe.

People who are older or have existing medical conditions, like heart conditions, could also be at higher risk of serious illness.

This is almost like what's seen with other respiratory illnesses, such as influenza.

When to see a doctor?

Contact your doctor directly if you've got COVID-19 symptoms and you have possibly been
exposed to the virus.

Tell your doctor if you've recently traveled internationally.

Call your doctor ahead to inform him or her about your symptoms and up-to-date travels and possible exposure before you go to your appointment.


It's unclear exactly how contagious the new coronavirus is.

It appears to be spreading from person to person among those in close contact.

It may be spread by respiratory droplets released when someone with the virus coughs or sneezes.

Risk factors

Risk factors for COVID-19 appear to include:
  1. Recent travel from or residence in an area with the ongoing spread of COVID-19 as determined by the CDC or WHO
  2. Close contact with someone who has COVID-19 — like when a loved one or health care worker takes care of an infected person


Although there's no vaccine available to stop infection with the new coronavirus, you can take steps to scale back your risk of infection.

WHO and CDC recommend following the standard precautions for avoiding respiratory viruses:
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Cover your mouth and nose together with your elbow or tissue once you cough or sneeze.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth if your hands aren't clean.
  • Avoid close contact with anyone who is sick.
  • Avoid sharing dishes, glasses, bedding, and other home items if you're sick.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces you often touch.
  • Stay home from work, school, and public areas if you're sick.
CDC doesn't recommend that healthy people wear a facemask to guard themselves against
respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19. Only wear a mask if a health care provider tells
you to do so.

WHO also recommends that you:

Avoid eating raw or undercooked meat or animal organs.
Avoid contact with live animals and surfaces they'll have touched if you're visiting
live markets in areas that have recently had new coronavirus cases.


If you're getting to travel internationally, first check the CDC and WHO websites for updates and advice.

Also, look for any health advisories that may be in the place where you plan to travel.

You may also want to speak together with your doctor if you've got health conditions that make you more susceptible to respiratory infections and complications.