COVID-19 (Coronavirus 2019)
Get the Facts - COVID-19
What is a coronavirus?
According to the World Health Organization, "Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which may cause illness in animals or humans. In humans, several coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The most recently discovered coronavirus causes coronavirus disease COVID-19."
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
According to the CDC, patients diagnosed with this coronavirus experience a mild to severe respiratory illness. Symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath. Patents with severe complications from the virus often develop pneumonia in both lungs. More.
How does the virus spread?
The virus is spread person-to-person. According to the CDC, spread is happening mainly between people who are in close contact (within 6 feet) of each other via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The droplets land on the noses and mouths of other people, who then inhale them.
The CDC says it may be possible for the virus to spread by touching a surface or object with the virus and then a person touching their mouth, nose or eyes, but this is not thought to be the main method of spread. As the virus was discovered just a few months ago, more research is required to learn more about the spread pattern of the virus. More.
How do I protect myself and others?
There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19 or medication to directly treat COVID-19. Therefore, the best way to protect yourself is to avoid being exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19. The CDC recommends maintaining personal preventative actions such as:
- Avoiding close contact with those who are sick
- Not touching your eyes, mouth or nose, especially with unwashed hands
- Washing your hands often with soap and warm water for last least 20 seconds
- Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that are frequently touched
- Stay home if you are sick
- Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue
There also is no need for members of the general public to wear surgical masks to guard against coronavirus. Individuals should only wear a mask if a healthcare professional recommends it. More.
What should I do if I think I have COVID-19?
Call the office of your healthcare provider if you feel sick with a fever, cough or difficulty breathing. Make sure to give your provider details of your overseas travels and symptoms. Your healthcare provider will give you instructions on how to get help without exposing other people.
Avoid contact with other people, avoid going out in public and delay any travel to avoid spreading the illness. More.
Is there a cure for the virus?
There is currently no vaccine to protect against COVID-19. Once infected, there is not an antiviral treatment available for COVID-19. More.
Source: The Associated Press.
What should I do if I think I may have been exposed?
Monitoring your health if you believe you may have been exposed with the following steps:
- Take your temperature with a thermometer two times a day and monitor for fever (100°F/37.8°C or higher).
- Watch for cough or trouble breathing.
- Contact the Bucks County Department of Health at 215-345-3318.
Please note - These are direct links to resources on the CDC's website, which is updated frequently during this time, and so these links may become unreachable. Please contact Angela Linch at email@example.com to notify us of bad links.
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