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The outbreak of novel Coronavirus disease 2019 (abbreviated "COVID-19) is leaving many of us looking for answers on what precautions we can take to prevent more people from contracting the virus. Multiple resources including the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) have listed multiple steps we can take to help stop the virus from spreading.
What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is a respiratory disease that was first encountered in China and has since spread globally and was characterized as a pandemic by the World Health Organization as of March 11, 2020. This virus comes from a family of viruses known as Coronaviruses which are commonly found in both humans and various animals. The novel (new) Coronavirus known as COVID-19 is the latest of the Coronaviruses.
How Does the Virus Spread?
COVID-19 is being spread mainly from person-to-person contact by:
Close contact at up to approximately 6 feet
Respiratory droplets that result from sneezes or coughs of someone who is infected
COVID-19 also spreads from contact with contaminated surfaces and objects.
The following symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus:
Shortness of breath
It is common for the virus to be mistaken with other common illnesses. The following chart from the CDC compares symptoms of COVID-19, the common cold, and flu.