What is a novel coronavirus?
A novel coronavirus is a new coronavirus that has not been previously identified. The virus causing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is not the same as the coronaviruses that commonly circulate among humans and cause mild illness, like the common cold.
How does it spread?
The virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly from person to person, mainly through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Spread is more likely when people are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
COVID-19 seems to be spreading easily and sustainably in the community (“community spread”) in many affected geographic areas. Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected.
Is it safe to get care for my other medical conditions during this time?
It is important to continue taking care of your health and wellness.
Continue your medications, and do not change your treatment plan without talking to your healthcare provider.
Continue to manage your disease the way your healthcare provider has told you.
Have at least a 2-week supply of all prescription and non-prescription medications.
Talk to your healthcare provider about whether your vaccinations are up-to-date.
Call your healthcare provider
if you have any concerns about your medical conditions, or if you get sick.
to find out about different ways you can connect with your healthcare provider for chronic disease management or other conditions.
Do not delay getting emergency care for your health problems or any health condition that requires immediate attention.
If you need emergency help, call 911.
Emergency departments have infection prevention plans to protect you from getting COVID-19 if you need care for your medical condition.
Continue to practice everyday prevention. Wash your hands often, avoid close contact, wear a mask, cover coughs and sneezes, and clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces often.
For more information, see Groups at Higher Risk for Severe Illness.
Who is at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19?
COVID-19 is a new disease and there is limited information regarding risk factors for severe disease. Based on currently available information and clinical expertise, older adults and people with underlying medical conditions are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.