FAQ - General Information
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases.
A novel coronavirus is a new strain of coronavirus that has not been previously identified in humans.
COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. The virus that causes COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus that was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China.
COVID-19 is currently spreading from person to person globally. The risk of infection is higher for people who are close contacts of someone known to have COVID-19. Other people at higher risk for infection are those who live in or have recently been in areas with ongoing spread of COVID-19. Older adults, individuals with compromised immune systems, and those with underlying health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and lung disease have a higher risk of developing complications from COVID-19.
Human coronaviruses most commonly are spread from an infected person to others through:
- Coughing and sneezing;
- Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands;
- Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing your hands; and
- Rarely, fecal contamination.