Updated: 3/29/20 – 2:25 pm
What is Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)?
COVID-19, or Coronavirus disease 2019, is an upper respiratory tract disease caused by one of the seven Coronaviruses known to infect humans. It was first identified in humans in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, in December 2019. The virus that causes COVID-19 is called SARS-CoV-2.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms, which generally appear two to 14 days after exposure, include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Most people who become sick do not require hospitalization, but older adults, people with chronic health conditions, and people with compromised immune systems are more likely to require more advanced care.
How does it spread?
Coronaviruses are generally thought to be spread most often by respiratory droplets. The virus that causes Coronavirus disease 2019 is spreading from person-to-person and someone who is actively sick with the disease can spread the illness to others. That is why CDC recommends that these patients be isolated either in the hospital or at home until they are better and no longer pose a risk of infecting others.
What can I do to prevent it?
- There are no vaccines to prevent COVID-19.
- Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; dry hands with a clean towel or air dry hands.
- Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water are unavailable.
- Cover your mouth with a tissue or sleeve when sneezing or coughing.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Avoid contact with people who are sick.
Also, clean high-touch areas – counters, tables, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, nightstands – every day using household cleaning spray or wipes according to label directions.
What happens if a case is reported?
- A case or suspected case of 2019-nCoV is reported to WCHD.
- WCHD immediately begins to interview the case or suspected case to gather symptom information, detailed travel information, and other information relevant to an epidemiological investigation
- WCHD alerts the ODH if the case or suspected case meets the case definition for testing for 2019-nCoV. The case or suspected case would stay at home away from others until the testing for 2019-nCoV is completed at the CDC.
- Cases confirmed by the testing for the 2019-nCoV virus would need to stay at home away form others and WCHD would continue its epidemiological investigation of the case.
What to do if you think you have COVID-19
Call ahead to a healthcare professional if you develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough or difficulty breathing, and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or if you live in or have recently traveled to an area with ongoing spread. Tell your healthcare professional about your recent travel or contact. Your healthcare professional will work with your state’s public health department and CDC to determine if you need to be tested for COVID-19. To report directly to the Warren County Health District, please call 513-695-2097.