COVID-19 is a new respiratory disease, caused by a novel (or new) coronavirus that has not previously been seen in humans. Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death for confirmed COVID-19 cases.
Symptoms of this infection may appear 2-14 days after exposure and include:
- Cough and shortness of breath, and
- In severe cases, pneumonia (fluid in the lungs).
However, it’s possible for people with COVID-19 to spread the virus to others up to 48 hours before they have symptoms.
Call your healthcare professional if you develop symptoms, and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19.
You can also call 2-1-1 to learn more about:
- COVID-19 prevention, symptoms, and treatment
- Information about testing
- Guidance for people planning or returning from travel
Source and spread
Coronaviruses are a large group of viruses; some cause illness in people and some occur in animals, including camels, civet cats and bats. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can evolve and infect people and then may spread between people. Human coronaviruses cause routine seasonal respiratory virus infections. Other coronaviruses, like SARS and MERS, can cause serious illnesses.
How do coronaviruses spread?
Coronaviruses are respiratory viruses and are generally spread through respiratory secretions (droplets from coughs and sneezes) of an infected person to another person.
For more information, please visit frequently asked questions about COVID-19.