The coronavirus is actually a family of viruses that includes a number of respiratory illnesses. The strain of virus responsible for the current outbreak is called the “novel” coronavirus because it is a virus that has not previously been detected in humans. The name COVID-19 is short for "coronavirus disease 2019.”
The virus can spread from person to person, but good hygiene and social distancing can help prevent infection.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
The most common symptoms are:
- Dry cough
- Shortness of breath
- Muscle pain
- Sore throat
- Loss of taste or smell
These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. Some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms and don't feel unwell. Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing special treatment. Around 1 out of every 6 people who gets COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and develops difficulty breathing. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness. People with fever, cough and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention. (WHO)
Protection measures you can take
As an organization, Northern Arizona Healthcare follows CDC recommendations for reducing the risk of spreading infectious disease such as hygiene best practices. We recommend the below as well, for all patients, families and community members:
- Wash your hands often - for at least 20 seconds
- Avoid touching your face, nose, eyes, etc.
- Clean and disinfect your home to remove germs.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid crowds, especially in poorly ventilated areas.
Note: These recommendations are guidelines and not inclusive of all possible measures of prevention.