Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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1600 East Clifton Road Northeast, Atlanta, GA, USA
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CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION


CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)

What You Need to Know!


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Know How it Spreads.

  • There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
  • The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.
  • The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.
    • 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.
  • These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

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Avoid close contact.

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Symptoms

Call your doctor:  If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms, such as cough or difficulty breathing, call your healthcare provider for medical advice.

Watch for symptoms

Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death for confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases.

The following symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure.*

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

This is based on what has been seen previously as the incubation period of MERS-CoV viruses.

If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19 get medical attention immediately. Emergency warning signs include*:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion or inability to arouse
  • Bluish lips or face

*This list is not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.

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What To Do if You Are Sick.

Call your doctor:  If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms, such as cough or difficulty breathing, call your healthcare provider for medical advice.


Steps to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 if you are sick.

Follow the steps below:  If you are sick with COVID-19 or suspect you are infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, follow the steps below to help prevent the disease from spreading to people in your home and community.


Stay home except to get medical care.

  • Stay home: People who are mildly ill with COVID-19 are able to isolate at home during their illness. You should restrict activities outside your home, except for getting medical care.
  • Avoid public areas: Do not go to work, school, or public areas.
  • Avoid public transportation: Avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis.

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Separate yourself from other people and animals in your home.

  • Stay away from others: As much as possible, you should stay in a specific room and away from other people in your home. Also, you should use a separate bathroom, if available.
  • Limit contact with pets & animals: You should restrict contact with pets and other animals while you are sick with COVID-19, just like you would around other people. Although there have not been reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19, it is still recommended that people sick with COVID-19 limit contact with animals until more information is known about the virus.
  • When possible, have another member of your household care for your animals while you are sick. If you are sick with COVID-19, avoid contact with your pet, including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food. If you must care for your pet or be around animals while you are sick, wash your hands before and after you interact with pets and wear a facemask. See COVID-19 and Animals for more information.

Information for Household Members and caregivers for Someone who is Sick.


Call ahead before visiting your doctor.

  • Call ahead: If you have a medical appointment, call the healthcare provider and tell them that you have or may have COVID-19. This will help the healthcare provider’s office take steps to keep other people from getting infected or exposed.

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Wear a facemask if you are sick.

  • If you are sick: You should wear a facemask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) or pets and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office.
  • If you are caring for others: If the person who is sick is not able to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then people who live with the person who is sick should not stay in the same room with them, or they should wear a facemask if they enter a room with the person who is sick.

Cover your coughs and sneezes.

  • Cover: Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • Dispose: Throw used tissues in a lined trash can.
  • Wash hands: Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or, if soap and water are not available, clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Clean your hands often.

  • Wash hands: Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food.
  • Hand sanitizer: If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry.
  • Soap and water: Soap and water are the best option if hands are visibly dirty.
  • Avoid touching: Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Handwashing Tips

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Avoid sharing personal household items.

  • Do not share: You should not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, or bedding with other people or pets in your home.
  • Wash thoroughly after use: After using these items, they should be washed thoroughly with soap and water.

Clean all “high-touch” surfaces everyday.

  • Clean and disinfect: Practice routine cleaning of high touch surfaces.

High touch surfaces include counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and bedside tables.

  • Disinfect areas with bodily fluids: Also, clean any surfaces that may have blood, stool, or body fluids on them.
  • Household cleaners: Use a household cleaning spray or wipe, according to the label instructions. Labels contain instructions for safe and effective use of the cleaning product including precautions you should take when applying the product, such as wearing gloves and making sure you have good ventilation during use of the product.

Complete disinfection guidance

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Monitor your symptoms.

  • Seek medical attention: Seek prompt medical attention if your illness is worsening (e.g., difficulty breathing).
  • Call your doctor: Before seeking care, call your healthcare provider and tell them that you have, or are being evaluated for, COVID-19.
  • Wear a facemask when sick: Put on a facemask before you enter the facility. These steps will help the healthcare provider’s office to keep other people in the office or waiting room from getting infected or exposed.
  • Alert health department: Ask your healthcare provider to call the local or state health department. Persons who are placed under active monitoring or facilitated self-monitoring should follow instructions provided by their local health department or occupational health professionals, as appropriate.


Discontinuing home isolation.

  • Stay at home until instructed to leave: Patients with confirmed COVID-19 should remain under home isolation precautions until the risk of secondary transmission to others is thought to be low.
  • Talk to your healthcare provider: The decision to discontinue home isolation precautions should be made on a case-by-case basis, in consultation with healthcare providers and state and local health departments.
  • People with COVID-19 who have stayed home (home isolated) can stop home isolation under the following conditions:
    • If you will not have a test to determine if you are still contagious, you can leave home after these three things have happened:
      • You have had no fever for at least 72 hours (that is three full days of no fever without the use medicine that reduces fevers)
        AND
      • other symptoms have improved (for example, when your cough or shortness of breath have improved)
        AND
      • at least 7 days have passed since your symptoms first appeared
    • If you will be tested to determine if you are still contagious, you can leave home after these three things have happened:
      • You no longer have a fever (without the use medicine that reduces fevers)
        AND
      • other symptoms have improved (for example, when your cough or shortness of breath have improved)
        AND
        you received two negative tests in a row, 24 hours apart. Your doctor will follow CDC guidelines.

In all cases, follow the guidance of your healthcare provider and local health department. The decision to stop home isolation should be made in consultation with your healthcare provider and state and local health departments. Local decisions depend on local circumstances.

More information is available here.

Additional information for healthcare providers: See CDC’s updated Interim Healthcare Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations for Persons Under Investigation for 2019 Novel Coronavirus.

Data to inform the definition of close contact are limited. Considerations when assessing close contact include the duration of exposure (e.g., longer exposure time likely increases exposure risk) and the clinical symptoms of the person with COVID-19 (e.g., coughing likely increases exposure risk as does exposure to a severely ill patient). Special consideration should be given to those exposed in health care settings.


COVID-19 Cases in the U.S.

Cases in U.S.                 Situation Summary 

 

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Latest Updates

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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How to Prepare

Here is what you can do to prepare your family in case COVID-19 spreads in your community.

Find Local Information

Know where to find local information on COVID-19 and local trends of COVID-19 cases.

Know the Signs & Symptoms

Know the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and what to do if symptomatic:

Stay home when you are sick

Call your health care provider’s office in advance of a visit

Limit movement in the community

Limit visitors

Take Steps for Those at Higher Risk

Know what additional measures those at higher risk and who are vulnerable should take.

Protect Yourself & Family

Implement steps to prevent illness (e.g., stay home when sick, hand washing, respiratory etiquette, clean frequently touched surfaces daily).

Create a Household Plan

Create a household plan of action in case of illness in the household or disruption of daily activities due to COVID-19 in the community.

Consider 2-week supply of prescription and over the counter medications, food and other essentials. Know how to get food delivered if possible.

Establish ways to communicate with others (e.g., family, friends, co-workers).

Establish plans to telework, what to do about childcare needs, how to adapt to cancellation of events.

Stay Informed About Emergency Plans

Know about emergency operations plans for schools/workplaces of household members.

Click on the links below for more information:

How It Spreads

Protect Yourself

Protect Your Family


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CONTACT US

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

HAVE QUESTIONS?

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Symptoms of Coronavirus Disease 2019

Everyone can help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Call your doctor if you develop symptoms, have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19, or have recently traveled from an area with widespread or ongoing community spread of COVID-19. Learn more: https://bit.ly/38zjnYo

Posted by CDC on Friday, March 13, 2020

CDC Briefing Room: COVID-19 Update; March 14, 2020

CDC Briefing Room: Dr. Nancy Messonnier gives an update on COVID-19. For more info visit www.cdc.gov/COVID19.

Posted by CDC on Saturday, March 14, 2020

6 Steps to Prevent COVID-19

Everyone can help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Practice healthy habits like avoiding close contact with people who are sick. Learn more prevention tips: https://bit.ly/37Ay6Cm

Posted by CDC on Friday, March 13, 2020

COVID-19: What Older Adults Need To Know

Older adults and people who have severe chronic medical conditions, like heart, lung, kidney disease, or diabetes, may be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19. If you or a loved one are at increased risk of getting COVID-19, take action now:• Take care of your own health• Stay home as much as possible• Make a plan now in case you get sick• Pay attention to what’s happening locallyhttps://bit.ly/2wM2X1m

Posted by CDC on Friday, March 13, 2020

CDC Briefing Room: COVID-19 Update; March 13, 2020

CDC Briefing Room: Dr. Nancy Messonnier gives an update on COVID-19. For more info visit www.cdc.gov/COVID19.

Posted by CDC on Friday, March 13, 2020

What You Need to Know about Handwashing

Clean hands keep you healthy and can stop germs from spreading to others. What you need to know about handwashing: https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/

Posted by CDC on Wednesday, March 11, 2020

COVID-19: What Older Adults Need To Know

If you are an older adult or have a severe chronic medical condition, prepare in advance for the possibility of a COVID-19 outbreak in your community. Take extra measures to put distance between yourself and other people to reduce your risk of being exposed:• Stay home as much as possible• Have enough household items and groceries on hand if you need to stay home• Monitor your health and keep in touch with your doctorLearn how to be prepared if COVID-19 starts spreading in your community: http://bit.ly/2TDQVQm

Posted by CDC on Tuesday, March 10, 2020

COVID-19: Stop the Spread of Germs

Heading out to vote? Make sure to practice hand hygiene frequently to reduce the risk of exposure to respiratory diseases, like COVID-19. Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.Learn more about protecting yourself and your community: http://bit.ly/38rfwvT

Posted by CDC on Tuesday, March 10, 2020

CDC Briefing Room: COVID-19 Update

CDC Briefing Room: Dr. Nancy Messonnier gives an update on COVID-19. For more info visit www.cdc.gov/COVID19

Posted by CDC on Monday, March 9, 2020

How does COVID-19 spread?

Current understanding is that COVID-19 spreads mostly from person to person through respiratory droplets produced when a person coughs or sneezes, similar to how flu spreads. Most person-to-person spread happens when people are in close contact. It is also possible that the virus can spread when someone touches a contaminated surface and then touches their mouth, nose, or eyes. Learn more at http://bit.ly/3cv4cCx.

Posted by CDC on Thursday, March 5, 2020

What can I do to protect against novel coronavirus (COVID-19)?

What should you do to protect yourself from COVID-19? CDC recommends that you avoid being exposed to the virus and use everyday prevention action to prevent the spread of respiratory virus:1) cover your cough2) wash your hands3) stay home when sick. Learn more about prevention: http://bit.ly/3ceEJwP

Posted by CDC on Thursday, March 5, 2020

CDC Media Telebriefing: Update on COVID-19 | March 3, 2020

While information so far suggests that most COVID-19 illness is mild, a report out of China suggests serious illness occurs in 16% of cases. Older people and people with underlying health conditions like heart disease, lung disease and diabetes, for example, were about twice as likely to develop serious complications compared to otherwise younger, healthier people who were ill with novel coronavirus.Learn what to do if you or someone you know is possibly ill with COVID-19: https://bit.ly/2VFK1eT.

Posted by CDC on Tuesday, March 3, 2020

2019-nCoV: What is novel coronavirus?

Authorities in China identified the novel (new) coronavirus, which has resulted in several thousand confirmed cases in China. Additional cases have been identified in other international locations, including the U.S. Learn more about 2019-nCoV: www.cdc.gov/nCoV.

Posted by CDC on Friday, January 31, 2020

2019-nCoV: What is my risk?

The novel coronavirus, 2019-nCoV, is not spreading in communities in the United States at this time. CDC is still working to contain the spread of the virus. See what is known about how 2019-nCoV spreads: https://bit.ly/37KxL07

Posted by CDC on Friday, January 31, 2020

2019-nCoV: How to protect against novel coronavirus

2019-nCoV is a virus identified as the cause of the respiratory outbreak first detected in Wuhan, China. The virus is not spreading in the U.S., but you can help prevent the spread of respiratory illness by following everyday healthy habits. https://bit.ly/37Ay6Cm

Posted by CDC on Friday, January 31, 2020

2019-nCoV: Should I wear a mask?

Wondering if a mask would protect you from 2019-nCoV? CDC does not currently recommend the general American public use a facemask to protect against novel coronavirus. Only healthcare professionals caring for 2019-nCoV patients, people who are sick with 2019-nCoV, or in some cases people caring for patients who are sick with 2019-nCoV need precautions like a facemask to help limit their risk of spreading 2019-nCoV.CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions, like staying home when you are sick and washing hands with soap and water, to help prevent the spread of respiratory illness.https://bit.ly/37Ay6Cm

Posted by CDC on Tuesday, February 4, 2020