Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV).
The virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly from person to person, mainly through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby. Spread is more likely when people are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet and not wearing a mask). COVID-19 seems to be spreading easily and sustainably in the community (“community spread”) in many affected geographic areas. Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected.
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
* This list does not include all possible symptoms. The CDC will continue to update this list as we learn more about COVID-19.
Look for emergency warning signs* for COVID-19. If someone is showing any of these signs, seek emergency medical care immediately.
- Trouble breathing
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- New confusion
- Inability to wake or stay awake
- Bluish lips or face
* This list does not include all possible symptoms. Please call your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you. Call 911 or call ahead to your local emergency facility: Notify the operator that you are seeking care for someone who has or may have COVID-19.
Create a household plan of action to help protect your health and the health of those you care about in the event of an outbreak of COVID-19 occurs again in your community.
- Talk with the people who need to be included in your plan, and discuss what to do if an outbreak occurs in your community.
- Plan ways to care for those who might be at greater risk for serious complications.
- Make sure you have a two-week supply of medications and other supplies in case you need to stay home for a prolonged period of time.
- Get to know your neighbors and communicate with them often to watch out for each other.
- Create a list of local organizations that you can contact in the event you need assistance.
- Create an emergency contact list of family, friends, neighbors, carpool drivers, health care providers, teachers, employers, the local public health department, and other community resources.