Everywhere you go, everyone you speak to, and everything you read is all about the coronavirus pandemic. It may feel like those two words--coronavirus and pandemic--are in neon lights, and you feel like you’re in the dark. Read below to learn about many aspects of coronavirus:
How COVID-19 spreads:
Current data suggest coronavirus spreads from close personal contact, through respiratory droplets (sneezing, coughing). A single cough can produce 3,000 droplets, with droplets remaining in the air for up to 3 hours. The virus may live on surfaces for a period of time, even up to three days (plastic and stainless steel surfaces).
The early and limited amount of data that we do have suggests that the vast majority of cases in children are mild to moderate. The mortality rate is considerably lower in children compared with adults. Even newborns and fetuses have had good outcomes after exposure.
Coronavirus is not new, but COVID-19 is novel:
There are other, common coronavirus strains that cause mild infections recognized as the common cold. This strain is novel, meaning it has not been previously identified.
The most common symptoms are fever, cough and shortness of breath. These symptoms can appear 2-14 days after exposure. Emergent symptoms requiring immediate medical care include difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, persistent chest pain or pressure, disorientation or bluish discoloration on the face.
According to the CDC, people who are well do not need to wear a facemask. People with known COVID-19 should wear a facemask to protect those around them. Healthcare workers and people caring for those infected with coronavirus in a close setting should wear facemasks.