Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can be spread from person to person. COVID-19 has led to an outbreak of respiratory illness around the world, and according to the CDC, more cases are likely to be identified in the near future. COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus first identified during an outbreak in Wuhan, China.

What are the symptoms?

The symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, headache and cough and shortness of breath. Body aches, runny nose, sore throat, nasal congestion or diarrhea are also possible. These symptoms can appear very similar to the flu. Groups of people with decreased immunity, high blood pressure, heart disease, chronic lung disease, diabetes or pregnant women may experience more severe illness and are at a higher risk if infected with COVID-19.

How is COVID-19 spread?

Health officials continue to study the virus to determine how exactly it is spread. Currently, there are a few different modes of transmission suggested which include person-to-person transmission through sneezing, coughing and close personal contact such as touching or shaking hands. The virus can also be spread by contact with a surface or object that has the virus on it, followed by touching one’s own mouth, nose, or eyes.

How can I stay healthy?

Similar to the flu, the best way to stay healthy is to prevent exposure! Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 30 seconds. Avoid close contact with any person who is sick. Do not touch your face (eyes, nose or mouth) until after you have washed your hands.

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