Last updated on May 5th, 2022 at 01:58 pm
Use the CDC’s Community Levels Tool to see the best prevention steps for your community.
The CDC’s COVID-19 Toolkit includes information on free masks, treatment, vaccines, and testing available in your community.
COVID-19 is commonly known as a coronavirus, which is an umbrella term for viruses identified by their unique corona or crown shape. COVID-19 specifically refers to an infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Other coronaviruses include common colds, SARS, and MERS.
Since its recognition in late 2019, COVID-19 has impacted every country and community around the world. COVID-19 has proven to be very successful at transmitting between people by respiratory secretions of all sizes. Asymptomatic carriers (people without symptoms of disease) can spread COVID-19, making it difficult to identify who is actually infectious with the virus. Respiratory secretions occur while people are breathing, talking, coughing, sneezing, and more. Vaccinations are helping to slow the spread of COVID-19, but transmission continues through those who have not yet been vaccinated. Along with vaccination, physical distancing, masking, and hand washing are other strategies to help slow the spread of COVID-19. As COVID-19 variants emerge, the CDC says that vaccine boosters may be necessary to ensure reduced transmission.
Common symptoms of COVID-19 include:
- Muscle or body aches
- Loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
Other symptoms could be signs of serious illness. If someone has trouble breathing, chest pain or pressure, or difficulty staying awake, get medical care immediately.
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Page updated: March 2022