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Coronavirus (COVID-19): Fact finding, preventing stigma, coping, and talking to your kids about it.

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), COVID-19, often referred to as the coronavirus, is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. The virus that causes COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus that was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China.

Symptoms of COVID-19 include mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of fever, cough, and shortness of breath.

The virus is thought to spread mainly between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It also may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads. Learn what is known about the spread of newly emerged coronaviruses.

The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. This is especially true for older adults and those with severe underlying chronic medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes.

To protect yourself, the best things you can do for yourself include:

  • Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds

  • Use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol

  • Refrain from touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick

  • Put distance between yourself and others if the virus is spreading in your area.

To protect others, the best things you can do include:

  • Stay home if you are sick

  • Cover coughs and sneezes

  • Throw used tissues in the trash.

  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds

  • Wear a face mask if you are already sick. NOTE: do not wear a face mask if you are not sick unless you are caring for someone who is ill.

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily.

  • Clean dirty areas.

Up-to-date information about COVID-19