We've compiled a list of important information about COVID-19 that we hope you'll find helpful. These are facts, based on actual data from reliable sources.
What is the difference between "coronavirus" and "COVID-19"?
Many media reports and people have used “coronavirus” and “COVID-19″ interchangeably; one is a subset of the other. "Coronavirus" refers to a handful of diseases that are known to cause respiratory issues. Experts refer to this current coronavirus as the “novel coronavirus,” meaning it’s a new type of coronavirus that was not previously known or understood by health experts. COVID-19 is the illness caused by the novel coronavirus.
Is there a vaccine for COVID-19?
Who is at higher risk of serious illness should they contract COVID-19?
How is COVID-19 contracted?
Based on what experts know about coronaviruses in general, COVID-19 is spread:
I've heard COVID-19 is like the flu and I'll be fine if I get it. Is this true?
No. COVID-19 is not like the flu. There is no vaccine or immunity from prior exposure since it's a novel (new) virus. Here is the reason for the misinformation: If a young, healthy individual contracts COVID-19, they will likely experience flu-like symptoms and recover. However, based on data from other countries preceding the U.S., high-risk individuals who contract COVID-19 (see "Who is at higher risk" above) are showing a much higher rate of hospitalization, ICU care, and fatalit—far surpassing typical flu strains.
What is the incubation time of COVID-19?
COVID-19 has an incubation time of 5-14 days, so many individuals do not realize they are infected, carrying and spreading the virus. Some very healthy individuals (particularly in the 20-29 year old range) will never experience any symptoms of COVID-19.
What does "flattening the curve" mean?
Flattening the curve refers to community isolation measures that keep the daily number of cases at a manageable level for medical providers. At the rapid rate this virus is spreading, soon there may not be enough hospital beds or respirators available for patients. This is currently happening in other countries. Learn more about "flattening the curve."
According to several epidemiological studies, the U.S. can expect a doubling of cases every 6 days. This means about 1 million U.S. cases by the end of April, 2 million by May 7, and so on. The majority of cases will be able to be managed at home. But among the 44,000 cases in China, 15% required hospitalization and 5% ended up in critical care. The drastic measures of closing schools, gyms, etc. will help reduce these numbers.
By isolating ourselves, canceling church services, staying at home and practicing "social distancing", we're giving our hospitals a fighting chance to take care of the more high-risk and vulnerable in our communities. Let's all do our part.
Should I be staying at home to avoid catching or spreading COVID-19?
Yes! Everyone who is able to do so should be practicing “social distancing” to limit the spread of COVID-19 and "flatten the curve." Ideally, you should stay at least 6 feet away from all other people. Maintaining contact with your family members is okay within your household. Even if you don’t have symptoms at all, spending as much time as possible in isolation means you’re lowering the risk that you will spread COVID-19 to the more vulnerable.
Do not spend time at social gatherings or go out to restaurants. Ordering takeout (or, even better, delivery left at your front door) is the best way to get food from and support your favorite local business.
Implementing preventative, social-distancing measures will reduce the number of people who are sick at one time. Without measures, many people get sick all at once, leading to a tall, narrow curve. With these social-distancing measures, you can flatten the curve—just as many people may get sick overall, but they’ll be spread out over time. For a healthcare system, especially an overwhelmed one, it’s far better to have a million people sick over the course of a year than that same million sick in three months.
What can I do to protect MYSELF?
What can I do to protect OTHERS?
What can I do to help high-risk friends and neighbors?
While the best thing to do is respect high-risk friends' and neighbors' need for social distancing to keep them well, make it a point to check in on them. Such thoughtfulness is always greatly appreciated.
Social distancing does not mean social isolation, and even a potentially deadly virus should not force us to be alone. Now, more than ever, people need to find smart ways to stay connected.
There are many ways to care for ourselves and each other. Let's all do our part!