COVID-19 is short for “coronavirus disease 2019.” The official name was given by the WHO (World Health Organization) to this disease caused by a newly identified novel coronavirus. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses transmitting between animals and people that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as severe acutre repiratory syndrome (SARS-CoV).
Symptoms include fever, tiredness/fatigue, dry cough, headache, shaking with chills, muscle pain. More severe symptoms include shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chest pain, confusion or inability to arouse, bluish lips or face. Newer identified symptoms include loss of taste or smell.
Though there are no available antivirals for use in treating COVID-19 at this time, other supportive care is being used. Care includes supplemental oxygen, fluids, medications such as cough medicine, inhalers, antibiotics (such as Zithromax/Z-pak) and other medications that are typically used to treat pneumonia (for more severe cases). Treatment varies depending on the severity of the symptoms.
The main knwon cause of spread is from close contact (within about 6 feet) with a person who is currently symptomatic with COVID-19. The virus is known to have likely spread from sputum or respiratory droplets that are produced when an infected person cough or sneezes. The droplets or sputum then land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or inhaled. It could be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching an object or surface that has the virus present, meaning someone who was infected had droplets or sputum fall on a surface and another person touches it and puts their hand in their mouth, nose, or eye. However, that is not known to be the main way the virus spreads.
Your doctor or healthcare professional can determine if you are a candidate based on signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and weather you are a candidate to be tested. In earlier stages of infection, the virus may not be detected.
For the initial diagnostic testing for COVID-19, the CDC recommends collecting and testing an upper repiratory specimen.
Information listed on this page has been sourced from www.CDC.gov