Symptoms and Prevention
Background on COVID-19
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus.
The COVID-19 virus spreads primarily through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
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.
At this time, there are no specific vaccines or treatments for COVID-19.
People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness.
Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
Call your healthcare professional if you develop symptoms, and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19.
If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19 get medical attention immediately. Emergency warning signs include:
- Trouble breathing
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- New confusion
- Inability to wake or stay awake
- Bluish lips or face
*This list is not all possible symptoms. Please call your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.
The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.
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
- Getting plenty of rest, drinking fluids, eating healthy foods, and managing your stress helps you stay healthy.
- Practice physical distancing of at least 6 feet.
- Wearing a cloth face covering when out in public.
- Stay home.