What you need to know about coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)

What is coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)?

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness
that can spread from person to person. The virus that causes
COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus that was first identified during
an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China.

Can people in the U.S. get COVID-19?

Yes. COVID-19 is spreading from person to person in parts of
the United States. 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. Learn more about places with ongoing spread at

Have there been cases of COVID-19 in the U.S.?

Yes. The first case of COVID-19 in the United States was
reported on January 21, 2020. The current count of cases of
COVID-19 in the United States is available on CDC’s webpage at

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. 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. Learn what is known about the spread
of newly emerged coronaviruses at https://www.cdc.gov/

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Patients with COVID-19 have had mild to severe respiratory
illness with symptoms of
• fever
• cough
• 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.

What should I do if I recently traveled from an area with
ongoing spread of COVID-19?

If you have traveled from an affected area, there may be
restrictions on your movements for up to 2 weeks. If you
develop symptoms during that period (fever, cough, trouble
breathing), seek medical advice. Call the office of your health
care provider before you go, and tell them about your travel and
your symptoms. They will give you instructions on how to get
care without exposing other people to your illness. While sick,
avoid contact with people, don’t go out and delay any travel to
reduce the possibility of spreading illness to others.

Is there a vaccine?

There is currently no vaccine to protect against COVID-19. The
best way to prevent infection is to take everyday preventive
actions, like avoiding close contact with people who are sick and
washing your hands often.

Is there a treatment?

There is no specific antiviral treatment for COVID-19.
People with COVID-1