About the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

What Is a Novel Coronavirus?

A novel coronavirus is a new coronavirus that has not previously been identified, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The virus causing COVID-19 is not the same as the coronaviruses that commonly circulate among people and cause mild illness, like the common cold.

On February 11, 2020, the World Health Organization announced the official name for the disease causing the 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak, first identified in Wuhan, China. The new name is coronavirus 2019, abbreviated as COVID-19.

How Does the New Coronavirus Spread?

The virus that causes COVID-19 most commonly spreads from person to person, usually those within about 6 feet of each other. It can spread easier and cause more infections than other coronaviruses because it’s a new strain that people haven’t yet built an immunity to.

According to the CDC, the new virus spreads through respiratory droplets or small particles when an infected person sneezes or coughs, sings, talks, or breaths. These droplets can be inhaled by others or land in their mouths or noses. This is thought to be the main way the virus spreads. You may be able to get infected by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes. But it’s not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

There is growing evidence that droplets and airborne particles can remain suspended in the air and be breathed in by others, and travel distances beyond 6 feet (for example, during choir practice, in restaurants, or in fitness classes). In general, indoor environments without good ventilation increase this risk.

That being said, COVID-19 is a new disease and we are still learning more about how it spreads.

What Are the Symptoms Of the New Coronavirus?

Symptoms of COVID-19 can range from mild to severe. The symptoms may appear two to 14 days after exposure and include:

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

How Long Does It Take For Symptoms To Appear?

Symptoms of the new virus are believed to appear two to 14 days after exposure.

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