Prevention is key to slowing or stopping the spread of the coronavirus disease, according to health officials.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 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.
To help avoid the illness, the CDC recommends cleaning your hands often, by washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry;
avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands; avoid close contact; avoid close contact with people who are sick; put distance between yourself and others.
There are laboratory tests that can identify the virus that causes COVID-19 in respiratory specimens. State and local public health departments have received tests from CDC while medical providers are getting tests developed by commercial manufacturers, according to the CDC.
Not everyone needs to be tested for COVID-19; most people have mild illness and are able to recover at home.
There is no treatment specifically approved for the virus.
Although the CDC has guidance for who should be tested, decisions are at the discretion of state and local health departments and/or individual clinicians.
If you have symptoms of COVID-19 and want to get tested, try calling your state or local health department or a medical provider. While supplies of these tests are increasing, it may still be difficult to find a place to get tested.
According to the CDC, cases of the illness have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death for confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases.
Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure, and include fever, cough and shortness of breath.
If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19, get medical attention immediately. Emergency warning signs include trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion or inability to arouse and/or bluish lips or face.
For more information online, visit www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.