What is coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)? Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that spreads easily from person to person. There is currently no vaccine and no cure.
How does COVID-19 spread? Mainly between people who are in close contact — within about six feet — through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
You also can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching your own mouth, nose, or eyes.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19? Mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, cough, or shortness of breath. Some patients have pneumonia in both lungs. COVID-19 can lead to death.
How can I protect myself? Stay home. Never touch your eyes, nose, and mouth. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
If you must go out, stay at least six feet away from others. Wear a mask. (Directions for sewing a mask and making one without sewing.) Avoid contact with people who are sick, even in your household.
What should I do if I get sick? Isolate yourself from family members. Call a healthcare clinic. Don’t visit unless they tell you to come.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and coronavirus.gov, set up by the CDC and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, are reliable sources for additional information.