What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by coronavirus that can make people very sick. Most people who get sick with COVID-19 only have a few symptoms, like a cough or a fever. But some people can get very, very sick, especially older people or those who already have health problems. Even after getting better, some people still have health issues for more than four weeks.
The virus spreads in three main ways:
- Breathing in tiny droplets from a sick person.
- Getting tiny droplets on your eyes, nose, or mouth, like when someone coughs.
- Touching your face with hands that have the virus on them.
People with COVID-19 can have different symptoms, from feeling a bit sick to having a hard time breathing. The signs usually show up 2-14 days after getting the virus.
Common symptoms include:
- trouble breathing
- muscle aches
- loss of taste or smell
- sore throat
- stuffy or runny nose
The symptoms might be different if there are new versions of the virus, and it can also depend on whether someone has been vaccinated.
To stay safe, it's important to follow the advice from health experts like the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). They recommend staying informed about the virus and doing things to protect yourself and others. You can learn more on the CDC's Basics of COVID-19 webpage.