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Know the Facts About COVID-19

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is a respiratory disease. It was first reported in China in December 2019. Because this is a new disease, doctors are still learning about it. You can expect them, along with other health experts, to provide new information about it frequently.

Common symptoms of COVID-19 include a fever, cough, and shortness of breath. These symptoms may occur 2 to 14 days after being exposed to the virus. Most people who come down with COVID-19 have mild symptoms. These symptoms can make you feel like you have the flu. However, some people have more severe symptoms. In these cases, the virus may lead to pneumonia.

How do people get COVID-19?

The most common way to get COVID-19 is by inhaling respiratory droplets in the air. When a person with COVID-19 coughs and sneezes, tiny droplets leave their mouth and nose and go into the air. You can’t see these droplets. If you’re within 6 feet of that person, you may breathe in those droplets. You won’t even know you’ve done it. But by doing that, you may get the germs that cause COVID-19 in your body.

COVID-19 also can be shared if you touch a surface an infected person has touched. Some examples include door handles, elevator buttons and shopping carts. The germs can get into your body if you then touch your eyes, nose, or mouth.

Who is likely to get COVID-19?

A lot of cases of COVID-19 is now reported in the whole world and the overall risk of getting sick with it is terribly high. Those people who have a greater risk of becoming sick includes:

  • Travelers returning from international areas where there is a high concentration of COVID-19 cases.

  • People in contact with travelers returning from international areas where there is a high concentration of COVID-19 cases.

  • People in close contact with someone who has COVID-19.

Most of the people who are getting sick with COVID-19 are adults. While some children have become infected with it, too, most of them have had milder symptoms than adults.

If people 65 years old and older get COVID-19, they’re more likely to have a severe case. Likewise, people who have health issues, such as heart disease, lung disease, and diabetes are also at risk of getting a severe case.

Things to consider

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and nervous when thinking about COVID-19. Here are some steps you can take to keep your stress under control.

  • Talk with your family doctor. Ask him or her what you should or shouldn’t be doing. He or she also may suggest ways you can help your kids deal with any stress they’re feeling, too.

  • Wash your hands frequently. This will help get rid of viruses and other germs on your hands. If you’re not near soap and water, use a hand sanitizer that contains between 60% and 95% alcohol.

  • Don’t touch your face, especially your eyes, nose, and mouth. These are the locations where a virus can enter your body.

  • Surgical masks are not effective at protecting wearers from respiratory illnesses like the flu or COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not recommend wearing surgical masks.

  • Stay healthy. Eat a balanced diet. Get plenty of sleep. Exercise. Don’t use tobacco products or alcohol to deal with your stress.

  • Get your news from trusted sources. Make sure the online news articles you read are from a trusted news-based organization.

  • Don’t panic. You can do this by staying informed and knowing the facts.

    If you or someone in your family begins to feel sick, stay home. Don’t go to work or school. Call your doctor. He or she will advise what you should do next. If you or someone in your family develops a fever, cough, and has trouble breathing, call your doctor right away or go to the emergency room.