Public Health Fact Sheet

What is Coronavirus
Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is a virus strain that has only spread in people since December 2019. Health experts are concerned because little is known about this new virus and it has the potential to cause severe illness and pneumonia in some people.

How is Coronavirus spread?
Health experts are still learning the details about how this new Coronavirus spreads.  Other Coronaviruses spread from an infected person to others through:
  • the air by coughing and sneezing
  • close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
  • touching an object or surface with the virus on it the touching your mouth nose, or eyes
  • in rare cases, contact with feces

How long after exposure until symptoms begin and how long is a person contagious?
People who have been diagnosed with novel coronavirus have reported symptoms that may appear in as few as two days or as long as 24 days after exposure to the virus.

How is Coronavirus treated?
There are no medications specifically approved for Coronavirus.  Most people with mild Coronavirus illness will recover on their own by drinking plenty of fluids, resting, and taking pain and fever medications.  However, some cases develop pneumonia and require medical care or hospitalization.

How is Coronavirus prevented?
If you are traveling overseas (to China but also to other places) follow the CDC's guidance: Right now, the Novel Coronavirus has not been spreading widely in the United States, so there are no additional precautions recommended for the general public.  Steps you can take to prevent spread of flu and the common cold will also help prevent coronavirus.  Wash hands often with soap and water.  If not available, use hand sanitizer.  Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.  Avoid contact with people who are sick.  Stay home while you are such and avoid close contact with others.  Cover your mouth/nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing.  Currently, there are no vaccines available to prevent novel coronavirus infections.

Additional information is available on the CDC website at

Symptoms of Coronavirus

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Difficulty breathing

February 2020