COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions
Find answers to the most pressing questions about COVID-19. This post is not updated regularly and information listed is per the Centers for Disease Control. For more detailed questions and answers, click here.
Is the coronavirus a new disease?
No. Other coronavirus such as 229E, NL63, OC43, and HKU1 have been identified. COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus, which means it hasn't been identified until now.
What makes COVID-19 different?
Because this strain hasn't been identified before, our immune system hasn't been exposed to it. This means the human body isn't immune to it.
Where does the name come from?
Coronavirus comes from how the virus looks under a microscope. (Corona means crown.) COVID-19 is an abbreviation in which "CO" stands for corona, "VI" stands for virus, "D" stands for disease, and "19" refers to 2019, the year it was identified.
Where did COVID-19 originate?
How do we avoid stigma around COVID-19?
Stigma is a type of discrimination against certain people, places, or nations. Stigma originates from fear, anger, a lack of understanding, and the need to place blame. Stigma can cause emotional and mental harm on the people and communities targeted. Knowing the facts is an ideal place to start in order to avoid.
Why are the number of cases between what's being reported and what's on CDC's website sometime differ?
All cases go through a validation process to confirm they are in fact COVID-19. There may also be a delay in reporting that can cause the number of cases from previous days to rise.
What is the source of coronavirus?
Coronaviruses are common in people as well as some animals including bats, camels, cattle, and cats. It's rare for coronaviruses in animals to infect and spread among people, which is what happened with COVID-19.
How does the coronavirus spread?
Spreading occurs primarily through coughing and sneezing when people are withing about 6-feet of each other. There currently isn't any evidence to support that the coronavirus is spread through food, however it can be spread if someone who has it touches a package or container. The best way to help prevent the spread is to:
wash your hands often for at least 20 second
sanitize your hands, products, and packages
cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing
wearing a mask when you're in public
standing at least 6-feet away from people
Will outbreak end as we get into summer weather?
Even though getting a cold or the flu is less likely in warmer months, investigations pertaining to how weather and temperature will impact COVID-19 are ongoing. Generally speaking, coronaviruses live for shorter amounts of time in high temperatures and more humid environments and surfaces.
Do I need to take extra precaution if I wear contacts?
No. Practice general safe hygiene habits.
Do I need to take extra precaution if I'm pregnant?
Do I need to take extra precaution if I'm breastfeeding?
Limited studies have not detected COVID-19 in breast milk. If you are sick, use a face mask while feeding or extract milk with a breast pump. Be sure to wash your hands before feeding or using a pump.
Can my pets get coronavirus?