The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is one of the most reliable sources for information about Coronavirus (COVID-19). Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about COVID-19 provided by the CDC.
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, and also in areas with poor ventilation. Learn what is known about the spread of newly emerged coronaviruses on the CDC website.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
Patients with COVID-19 have had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of:
- Shortness of breath
What are severe complications from this virus?
Some patients have pneumonia in both lungs, multi-organ failure and in some cases death.
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.
If you are sick, to keep from spreading respiratory illness to others, you should:
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
Should I wear a mask?
Masks have been shown to be effective both at protecting the wearer and protecting others around the wearer from viral spread, if present. Masks are one of the simplest and easiest ways of preventing viral spread. The federal government, through the CDC, has issued guidelines adn recommendations concerning mask wearing, which change as from data accumulates on rates of vaccination and mechanisms of spread. State, county, and local boards of health all make and enforce rules concerning mask wearing. Consult your local board of health for the latest ruling in your area.
Can I ask others to wear masks?
The wearing of masks has become highly politicized. If you are someone with a compromised immune system (such as receiving chemotherapy) or otherwise vulnerable, or the caregiver of such a person, you should feel free to have and to enforce the policies around mask wearing in your own home that provide the most comfort and security to you.
Where can I learn more?
Visit the CDC website for more information at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.