What you should know about the new coronavirus

COVID-19’s symptoms are similar to the flu, and tend to appear between two and 14 days after exposure:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

Most people only experience a mild illness with the symptoms described above, but some cases are more severe, requiring care from a medical professional. Individuals with prior respiratory issues, compromised immune systems and seniors are among those at a higher risk for more severe illness.

If you experience these symptoms and have recently traveled or come into contact with someone known to have COVID-19, call your doctor or healthcare provider. They’ll help determine if you should be tested.

I had the chance to sit down with Dr. Yolandra Hancock to talk about what people should know -- see our conversation below.

How to prevent the spread of COVID-19

You should follow the same kinds of precautions you would take with a cold or the flu to help reduce the likelihood of getting COVID-19.

  • You DO NOT need a face mask, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not recommend them for people who are well. In fact, wearing a face mask may lead you to touch your face more frequently, increasing your chances of getting sick rather than reducing them.
  • Social distancing is incredibly important right now. Take advantage of teleworking, and other opportunities to reduce public interactions.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

The CDC is the best place to turn for the latest information for this and all public health emergencies. On their site, you can find: