What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus. It has spread globally, resulting in a pandemic and unprecedented human, economic, and social disruption. Most people with COVID-19 have mild symptoms, but some become severely ill. Older adults and people who have certain underlying medical conditions are more likely to get severely ill. Post-COVID conditions can include various health problems lasting four or more weeks after contracting COVID-19.
COVID-19 is spread in three main ways:
- Breathing in the air when close to an infected person who exhales tiny droplets and particles containing the virus.
- Having small droplets and particles that contain the virus land on the eyes, nose, or mouth, especially through splashes and sprays like a cough or sneeze.
- Touching eyes, nose, or mouth with hands that have the virus on them.
People with COVID-19 have reported a wide range of symptoms – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus.
Common COVID-19 symptoms include:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
- Symptoms may change with new COVID-19 variants and vary depending on vaccination status.
The Prince George’s County Health Department recommends protecting yourself and your community from the virus by staying informed and following the latest public health guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention and World Health Organization (WHO).
For more information, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Basics of COVID-19.