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Coronavirus Facts

(updated March 14, 2020)

What is coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a type of virus. There are different kinds of them, they've been around a long time, and they can make us sick. Right now, everyone is focused on a new coronavirus that's causing a disease called COVID-19.

What are the symptoms?

Based on a recent World Health Organization (WHO) report, the most common symptoms are:

  • Fever
  • Dry cough
  • Fatigue
  • Coughing up thick phlegm from the lungs
  • Shortness of breath

People may also experience symptoms like bone or joint pain, sort throat, headache, and more. In rare cases, it can lead to death.

How does it spread?

Like the cold and the flu, it's spread through the air by coughing and sneezing. It's also spread through close contact, like shaking hands. Experts think that symptoms can appear within 2 to 14 days of being exposed to the virus. So far, 5 to 7 days seems to be the norm.

Should I wear a face mask?

The CDC does NOT recommend wearing a face mask to protect yourself from coronavirus.

The CDC does recommend wearing a face mask if:

  • You have symptoms of coronavirus (to help prevent the spread of the disease to others)
  • You're a healthcare worker or providing care to someone

Note that regular face masks, like the ones at the drugstore, won't protect you from coronavirus because they don't fit snugly across the face.

How is coronavirus treated?

There's no special treatment for it, and most people get better on their own. You can relieve your symptoms much like you would for a cold or the flu:

  • Drink fluids
  • Rest
  • Take over-the-counter medicines for pain, fever, and cough (do not give aspirin to children or cough medicine to children under four)
  • Use a humidifier or take a hot shower to help with a sore throat and cough

Where can I learn more?

Check the CDC website for the latest news and information.


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