Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person.
How does it spread?
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.
Risk of infection with COVID-19 is higher for people who are close contacts of someone known to have COVID-19, for example healthcare workers or household members. Other people at higher risk for infection are those who live in or have recently been in an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19.
What are the symptoms?
Patients with COVID-19 have had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of fever, cough, and shortness of breath.
How can I protect myself?
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.