Help Prevent the Spread of Coronavirus
Advice from our experts
Understand what this new strain of coronavirus is and how we can help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
What Is Coronavirus?
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses ranging from the common cold to much more serious diseases and can infect both humans and animals, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
The new strain, first identified in Wuhan, China in January 2020, is related to two other coronaviruses that have caused outbreaks in recent years: Middle East respiratory syndrome, also known as MERS, and severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS.
Coronavirus Symptoms & Disease
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), patients with confirmed COVID-19 infections have reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of:
- Shortness of breath
Symptoms of the COVID-19 may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 days after exposure. This is based on what has been seen previously as the incubation period of MERS viruses.
How Coronavirus Spreads
According to the CDC, human coronaviruses most commonly spread from an infected person to others through:
- The air by coughing and sneezing
- Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
- Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands
- Fecal contamination
Coronavirus Infection Prevention and Treatment
Always consult your doctor for medical advice. There are currently no vaccines to protect you against human coronavirus infections, but the CDC suggests helping to reduce your risk of infection by doing the following:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Additionally, if you have cold-like symptoms, you can help protect others by doing the following:
- Stay home while you are sick.
- Avoid close contact with others.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands.
- Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces.
For more information, refer to the CDC website at
- CDC 2020: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/summary.html