What is COVID-19?

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness
that can spread from person to person. The virus that causes
COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus that was first identified during
an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China.

How does COVID-19 spread?

The virus that causes COVID-19 probably emerged from an
animal source, but is now spreading from person to person.
The virus is thought to spread mainly between people who
are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet)
through respiratory droplets produced when an infected
person coughs or sneezes. It also may be possible that a person
can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has
the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or
possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main
way the virus spreads. Learn what is known about the spread
of newly emerged corona viruses at

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Patients with COVID-19 have had mild to severe respiratory
illness with symptoms of
• fever
• cough
• shortness of breath

How can I help protect myself?

People can help protect themselves from respiratory illness with
everyday preventive actions.
• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with
unwashed hands.
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20
seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at
least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.

What should I do if I recently traveled from an area with
ongoing spread of COVID-19?

If you have traveled from an affected area, there may be
restrictions on your movements for up to 2 weeks. If you
develop symptoms during that period (fever, cough, trouble
breathing), seek medical advice. Call the office of your health
care provider before you go, and tell them about your travel and
your symptoms. They will give you instructions on how to get
care without exposing other people to your illness. While sick,
avoid contact with people, don’t go out and delay any travel to
reduce the possibility of spreading illness to others.

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