What you should know

How does it spread?

Diffusion from person to person

The virus is believed to spread primarily from person to person.
• Between people who are in close contact with each other (within about 6 feet).
• Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

These droplets can fall into the mouth or nose of those close to you or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

Spread from contact with infected surfaces or objects.

It is possible that a person could get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their mouth, nose, or possibly eyes, but this is not believed to be the main way the virus spreads.

Can someone transmit the virus without being sick?

• People are believed to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest).
• Something may spread before people show symptoms; There have been reports of this occurring with this new coronavirus, but this is not believed to be the main way the virus spreads.


Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death from confirmed cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure*:
• Fever
• Cough
• Short of breath

Prevention and treatment


There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, the CDC always recommends daily preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
• Stay home when you are sick.
• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw it away.
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces with a household cleaning spray or cloth.
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after using the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.


There is no specific antiviral treatment recommended for COVID-19. People with COVID-19 should receive supportive care to help relieve symptoms. For severe cases, treatment should include care to support vital organ functions.

People who think they may have been exposed to COVID-19 should contact their healthcare provider immediately.