Frequently Asked Questions
What is the coronavirus?
Coronaviruses are one of 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).
What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus. This new virus and disease were unknown before the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
Symptoms vary with COVID-19 and not everyone will have the same features. The most common include:
- Dry cough
Some patients may have:
- Aches and pains
- Nasal congestion
- Sore throat
These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. Some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms and don't feel unwell. Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing special treatment. Around 1 out of every 6 people who gets COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and develops difficulty breathing. Other at risk persons who are more likely to develop serious illines include:
- Older people
- People with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes
People with fever, cough and difficulty breathing should seekmedical attention.
How the Coronavirus Spreads
How does the virus spread?
People can catch COVID-19 from others who have the virus. The disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales. These droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person. Other people then catch COVID-19 by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth. People can also catch COVID-19 if they breathe in droplets from a person with COVID-19 who coughs out or exhales droplets.
Can someone who had COVID-19 spread the illness to others?
The virus that causes COVID-19 is spreading from person-to-person. People are thought to be most contagious when they are symptomatic (the sickest). Someone who has been released from isolation is not considered to pose a risk of infection to others.
Can I get sick with COVID-19 if it is on food?
Based on information about this novel coronavirus thus far, it seems unlikely that COVID-19 can be transmitted through food.
Can the COVID-19 be spread through restaruant food, refrigerated or frozen packaged food?
Currently, there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with food.
How can I help protect myself?
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Everyone should wear a cloth face cover when they have to go out in public, for example to the grocery store or to pick up other necessities.
- If you are in a private setting and do not have on your cloth face covering, remember to always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
- Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
What should I do if I have had close contact with someone who has COVID-19?
- Limit Contact with the person as much as possible.
- Stay separated: The person who is sick should eat (or be fed) in their room, if possible.
- Avoid sharing personal items: Do not share dishes, cups/glasses, silverware, towels, bedding, or electronics with the person who is sick.
- When interacting with the person: Wear gloves when you touch or have contact with blood, stool, or body fluids, such as saliva, mucus, vomit, and urine. Throw out gloves into a lined trash can.
- Wash hands: Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Tell everyone in the home to do the same, especially after being near the person who is sick.