Coronavirus (COVID-19): What Do We Know?
Updated: Dec 22, 2020
Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that can cause illnesses such as the common cold, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS).
In 2019, a new coronavirus was identified as the cause of a disease outbreak in China. The virus is now known as the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The disease it causes is called coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
On January 30, 2020, the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee of the World Health Organization declared the outbreak a “public health emergency of international concern”. On January 31, 2020, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex M. Azar II declared a public health emergency (PHE) for the United States to aid the nation’s healthcare community in responding to COVID-19.
What We Know Now
Diseases can make anyone sick regardless of their race or ethnicity
The risk of getting COVID-19 in the U.S. is currently low
Someone who has completed quarantine or has been released from isolation does not pose a risk of infection to other people
There are simple things you can do to help keep yourself and others healthy:
Avoid close contact with people who are sick
Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
Stay home when you are sick
Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash
Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe
CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a face mask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases including COVID-19
Face masks should be used by people who show symptoms to help prevent the spread of the diseases to others. The use of face masks is crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings
WHO recommends that you avoid eating raw or under cooked meat or animal organs and contact with live animals and surfaces they may have touched if you are visiting live markets in areas that have recently had new coronavirus cases
Wash your hands 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 is not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol
If you are sick, stay home from work, school, public areas and avoid crowded spaces
If you are planning to travel internationally, first check travel advisories. You may also want to talk with your doctor if you have health conditions that make you more susceptible to respiratory infections and complications
Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure however, some patients may still be asymptomatic during this time. Infection individuals are still contagious despite a lack of symptoms. Be aware of the following signs and symptoms:
Mild-Moderate Symptoms (ex. Common cold)
Not feeling well overall
Severe Symptoms (ex. Bronchitis/Pneumonia)
Cough with mucus
Shortness of Breath
Chest pain or tightness when you breath and cough
What To-Do When You Are Sick
Call ahead before visiting your doctor if you develop symptoms and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19. This way your provider’s office can take steps to keep other people from getting infected or exposed.
Put on a face mask before you enter the facility and ask your provider to call the local/state health department
* Information regarding the coronavirus is still developing and as such we will inform you of the most updated news as soon as it is made known to us*