Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is a virus strain that was first detected in December 2019 and as of March 12 has been detected in many locations internationally and in all 50 states in the U.S. The virus, while having mild effects in most people, can cause severe illness and pneumonia in others such as the elderly or those with underlying medical conditions.
How does COVID-19 spread?
Health experts are still learning the details about how COVID-19 spreads from person to person. The most recent evidence points to infected people coughing and sneezing within six feet of a noninfected person. Other methods of transmission may include:
• 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
• in rare cases, contact with feces How severe is COVID-19? Upwards of 80% of those infected recover after mild symptoms. Others, especially the elderly and those with serious chronic medical conditions, may experience more severe symptoms including pneumonia that requires hospitalization, and sometimes death.
Watch for symptoms
Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death for confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases.
These symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure (based on the incubation period of MERS-CoV viruses).
Shortness of breath
Why are we seeing a rise in cases?
The number of cases of COVID-19 being reported in the United States is rising due to increased laboratory testing and reporting across the country. The growing number of cases in part reflects the rapid spread of COVID-19 as many U.S. states and territories experience community spread. More detailed and accurate data will allow us to better understand and track the size and scope of the outbreak and strengthen prevention and response efforts.
These approaches are used to minimize morbidity and mortality of COVID-19 as well as to minimize the social and economic impacts of COVID-19. Individuals, communities, businesses, and healthcare organizations are all part of a community mitigation strategy.
The focus is on protecting the health care system with expected rise in cases by slowing the spread within the community and focused on protecting the vulnerable members of the community.