Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

COVID-19 is a respiratory disease caused by a new coronavirus. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that may cause illness in people. The name of this new respiratory disease is coronavirus disease 2019, abbreviated as COVID-19.

The virus is spread from one person to another through respiratory droplets. These droplets are produced when someone with the illness coughs or sneezes. The droplets can be inhaled, land in the mouths or noses of people nearby and can persist for a short period of time on some surfaces. It generally takes prolonged and close (fewer than six feet away) contact to become infected.

Older people and people with underlying health conditions, such as heart disease, lung disease and diabetes, seem to be at greater risk of serious illness.

Common Symptoms of COVID-19 include:

  • Fever.
  • Cough.
  • Shortness of breath.

These symptoms may appear two to 14 days after exposure to the virus.


While there is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19 and no antiviral treatment recommended for it, people with COVID-19 may receive care to help relieve symptoms.

Prevent the Spread of Illness

There are things you can do to prevent the spread of illness. According to the CDC, you should:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol.
  • Social distancing – Avoid close contact with people who are sick and/or crowded areas.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Limit travel – avoid unnecessary travels. 
  • Routine environmental cleaning – wipe down, sanitize surfaces.