The CDC is closely monitoring the ongoing outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel (new) coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China.


COVID19 Frequently Asked Questions

What exactly is Covid-19?

Covid-19 is a novel virus that has not yet been previously identified. The “CO” stands for Corona, the “VI” stands for virus, the “D” stands for disease, and the “19” refers to the year it was first identified. More information can be found at the CDC - Coronavirus (Covid-19).

How does the virus spread?

This virus has been found to be spread from person to person through respiratory droplets that can be produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. An infected individual can either be symptomatic (has a disease and exhibits active symptoms) or be an asymptomatic carrier (has a disease and does NOT exhibit active symptoms). Spread still increases when you are in close contact with an infected individual regardless of whether they are symptomatic or asymptomatic carriers. More information can be found at CDC - How Covid-19 Spreads.

What are the main symptoms of Covid-19?

There are a wide range of symptoms that are associated with this virus and those listed below do not represent not an exhaustive list. If you experience any of these symptoms, please contact your medical provider. Common symptoms include:

  • Dry cough
  • Shortness or difficulty breathing
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Loss of smell and/or taste
More information can be found at the CDC - Symptoms of Coronavirus.

When should I get tested?

If you experience any of the above symptoms, reach out to your primary care provider for advice on whether your next steps should involve testing.

Where can I get tested?

Testing varies by location, and more information can be found at Testing for COVID-19.

How can I protect myself from the virus?

There are multiple ways to protect yourself from contracting the virus and to slow its spread. Here are a few tips on how to do so, these are not exhaustive either.

  • Practice social distancing
  • Maintain good hygiene by washing your hands frequently and disinfecting your environment frequently
  • When social distancing is not possible or more challenging (such as in the grocery store or pharmacy), you should...
  • Wear a non-medical cloth face mask
  • Stay at least 6 feet from others
More information can be found at the CDC - How to Protect Yourself.

Are there groups of individuals that are considered higher risk for contracting the virus?

Although there is still limited information about the specific risk factors for this novel virus, the CDC has stated that the following individuals are more vulnerable and should take extra-precautions to protect themselves during this time: :

  • People aged 65 years and older
  • People living in nursing homes or long term care facilities
  • People with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma
  • People who may have heart conditions
  • People who are immunocompromised
  • People with severe obesity
  • People with diabetes
  • People with chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis
  • People with liver disease
More information can be found at the CDC - People Who Need to Take Extra Precautions.

Can I get Covid-19 from other animals or my pets?

As of now there is no evidence that suggests that a human can contract the virus from animals including household pets. More information can be found at the CDC - Healthy Pets, Healthy People.




In The Happiness Lab podcast, Yale professor Dr. Laurie Santos will take you through the latest scientific research and share some surprising and inspiring stories that will forever alter the way you think about happiness. Right now she is doing a series specifically on finding happiness during the coronavirus pandemic. She explores how to maintain meaningful links to love ones, help the helpers, and much more.


Check out this episode of Intelligence Matters entitled "Dr. David Agus on the Knowns and Unknowns of COVID-19". In this 44 minute episode, host Michael Morell interviews Dr. David Agus,  Professor of Medicine and Engineering and at the University of Southern California. Dr. Agus explains what scientists have learned about the origins, spread, transmissibility and lethality of COVID-19 -- as well as what remains a mystery.




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