The Coronavirus, known as COVID-19, was first identified in Wuhan, China and has spread rapidly, killing hundreds and sickening thousands in the United States. This virus is new and is not the same as the flu viruses that circulate among humans and cause mild disease, such as the common cold or fever. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some of which cause illness in humans while others circulate among animals such as cattle, cats, camels and bats. SARS, a coronavirus that emerged to infect people, came from civet cats while another coronavirus, MERS, infected people from camels. While some speculate the virus came from a market,others suggest it came from a lab in China. However, regardless of where it came from it is easily spread from person-to person. The good news is that to date there is evidence that any coronavirus is spread by mosquito bites. Covid-19 is mainly spread via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, similar to how influenza and common colds are spread. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or may even be inhaled into the lungs. This usually this happens within roughly 6 feet. We still have a lot to learn about just how contagious COVID-19 is as well as many other aspects of its creation.

Here are just a few other things to know about COVID-19:

  • CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory viruses. Although as of late some states are enforcing it.
  • There is likely a very low risk of spread from products or packaging that are shipped over a period of days or weeks at ambient temperatures.
  • There is no reason to think that any animals or pets in the United States might be a source of infection for COVID-19.
  • There is currently no vaccine for COVID-19 and no specific antiviral treatment.However, the world is fiercely working on one.
  • One of the most effective preventive measures is to wash your hands often, with soap, for at least 20 seconds especially after using the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

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