Coronavirus: What you need to know

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As coronavirus continues to spread across the country and the globe, there is important information you should know about the potentially deadly disease, what you can do to mitigate its impact, and how you can keep yourself and others safe.

Coronavirus: Symptoms and transmission

What are the symptoms?

Many symptoms of COVID-19 and influenza overlap, here's how to spot the differences.

Are digestive issues a symptom?

Could diarrhea and other gastrointestinal issues be the first signs of the novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19?

Are the loss of smell and taste symptoms?

The loss of the ability to smell or taste could be a sign that an individual has coronavirus, according to a recent report.

When should you go to the hospital, and when should you stay home?

There are steps you should take to protect yourself and others before heading to the doctor or emergency room that will also help protect the nation’s health care systems.

Dave Jacek, 3D printing technical, wears a prototype of a 3D-printed medical face shield printed at Ford’s Advanced Manufacturing Center. 

Dave Jacek, 3D printing technical, wears a prototype of a 3D-printed medical face shield printed at Ford’s Advanced Manufacturing Center. 

How is coronavirus transmitted?

According to the CDC, coronaviruses are common in camels, cattle, cats and bats. Person-to-person transmissions are thought to occur when an infected person coughs or sneezes, similar to how influenza and other respiratory pathogens spread.

How often are people hospitalized for it?

The risk of contracting coronavirus remains low for most Americans, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams said.

What are the levels of severity?

The severity of the novel coronavirus can differ from person to person.

Does your blood type matter?

People with blood type A might be more vulnerable to the coronavirus, while those with type O blood could be more resistant, according to a study from China.

Coronavirus: Protecting yourself and others

How can you protect against getting it?

You can protect yourself from coronaviruses by following basic wellness practices.

How do I sanitize surfaces?

Keeping your home and surfaces clean using the correct disinfectants is crucial in preventing its spread.

How long can it survive on surfaces?

The novel coronavirus may be able to live on surfaces, namely metal, glass or plastic, for up to nine days —  if it resembles some of its other human coronavirus-causing “cousins,” that is.

Am I washing my hands correctly?

There are a few general rules to follow when it comes to washing your hands thoroughly, including for how long you should keep them under running water.

How to handle your laundry

We know to practice safe social distancing and frequently wash our hands to protect ourselves and our loved ones during the coronavirus pandemic — but how about our clothes?

(Photo by Gary Hershorn/Getty Images)

(Photo by Gary Hershorn/Getty Images)

How do I make my own hand sanitizer?

If soap and water aren’t available, hand sanitizer is the next best option — namely if it contains at least 60 percent alcohol, the CDC says.

Do face masks help?

“Surgical masks will not prevent your acquiring diseases,” said Dr. William Schaffner, a professor of preventive medicine and infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University, and the medical director of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases.

How to stop touching your face

Keeping your hands off your face is easier said than done: One study found that people touch their faces some 23 times an hour on average.

Should I keep using my contact lenses?

Contact lens wearers are being advised to switch to glasses amid the coronavirus outbreak as doing so may lessen the urge to touch your eyes.

Can you get it from packages?

Surgeon General Jerome Adams said, “There is no evidence right now that the coronavirus can be spread through mail.”

How else can I help others during this crisis?

Here are ways to help American doctors and patients with information on charities and fundraisers.

How can I help in my community when I'm stuck at home?

In times of uncertainty, pulling together to help is crucial to the healthwell-being and stability of our local communities.

How can I safely shop for groceries?

Staying informed about the safest ways to shop can help relieve at least some of the anxiety associated with your next supermarket visit.

Is there anything I need to know about eating takeout?

As the coronavirus outbreak continues to spread in the United States, many restaurants and fast food locations have closed dining rooms, and are only offering takeout or delivery options.

(AP Photo/Jean-Francois Badias)

(AP Photo/Jean-Francois Badias)

Coronavirus: Who is at risk?

Who is most at risk?

Young people, senior citizens and those with immune deficiencies could have an acute reaction if exposed to the virus.

Is it a threat to children? 

One pediatrician said childrens' frequent exposure to seasonal illnesses could actually be protecting them from COVID-19.

Does it affect pregnant women?

The CDC said that while risk to the American public remains low at this time, pregnant women should continue to engage in usual preventative actions to avoid infection, such as washing hands often and avoiding contact with people who are sick.

How does coronavirus affect asthma sufferers? 

It’s well known that other respiratory conditions, such as the common cold or flu, can trigger asthma symptoms, possibly leading to an asthma attack, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. But Is the same true for the novel coronavirus?

Prevention tips for people with chronic illness

Social distancing, hand-washing and avoiding those who are sick are among the top pieces of advice given to the general public, but for the immunocompromised, there are additional steps they can take.

Coronavirus: Treatment and care

How do you test for it?

Before being tested for the deadly virus, patients must first answer a series of questions.

How do you treat it?

Fox News received an in-depth look at the new disease from Dr. Debra Chew, a former epidemic intelligence officer for the CDC and an assistant professor of medicine at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School.

Is there a cure?

Health agencies recommend patients receive supportive care to relieve coronavirus symptoms.

What is chloroquine? 

Chloroquine and a similar drug, hydroxychloroquine, have shown encouraging signs in small, early tests against the coronavirus, but they have yet to be studied during a controlled clinical trial.

Doc warns against DIY coronavirus remedies

Several medications are being investigated, but that doesn't mean you should run out and buy them unprescribed, or try to recreate them in your home. Doing so could have dire consequences.

Do pneumonia shots protect against it?

Former CDC Chief Medical Officer Dr. Robert Amler told Fox News that a pneumonia shot will not be effective in staving off pneumonia caused by coronavirus.

How do you care for a relative who has it?

Even if the patient does test positive, it can be considered safe to continue supporting them with some extra precautions.

Dr. Damian Caraballo was quarantined in Tampa after treating COVID-19 patients. This is message from kids in his neighborhood.

Dr. Damian Caraballo was quarantined in Tampa after treating COVID-19 patients. This is message from kids in his neighborhood.

What if someone in my family has it?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that if anyone in your house has tested positive, everyone in the house should self-quarantine for a minimum of 14 days or longer until the patient has no more symptoms and tests negative.

What happens after you recover from it? 

A negative test doesn't always mean the patient is free of the virus.

What about my pets?

While the veterinary community is still dealing largely with unknowns amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, most of what they do know might come as a relief to pet owners.

Tips on how to talk to your kids about coronavirus 

It’s important to remember that children take cues from the adults that surround them, so how you address the virus at home may reflect in their behavior.

Coronavirus: Coping with isolation and social distancing

How do I protect my mental health?

A sudden change in routine and lack of human interaction has had a negative impact on some people’s mental health.

How do I avoid going stir crazy at home?

With the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), many people have been forced to work from home and are choosing to keep their social interactions to a minimum. Here are some tips on how to stay sane in the time of coronavirus.

How do I get food delivered?

As more and more people across the U.S. are preparing to stay in for the time being, some may be asking if it's safe to get food delivered to their house.

A woman sews high-quality face masks at a furniture factory in Eldorado Park, Johannesburg. (AP Photo/Shiraaz Mohamed)

A woman sews high-quality face masks at a furniture factory in Eldorado Park, Johannesburg. (AP Photo/Shiraaz Mohamed)

How do I stop snacking?

Working from home can have added temptations – yes, we’re looking at you, candy drawer. And also you, pantry, with three different types of potato chips.

I'm a terrible cook - help!

With more and more restaurants closing their dining rooms amid the coronavirus pandemic, many people are going to have to rely on cooking their own meals.

How do I help keep my kids on track?

Parents have taken to social media to share their homeschooling failures and successes as they attempt to educate their kids after thousands of schools shut down amid coronavirus concerns.

How do I balance work and family?

Parents are now being faced with extra pressure of having to care for and entertain their children, while also putting in a productive day of work.

How can I stay in shape?

Just because the gyms are closed, doesn't mean you still can't get fit in time for summer.

Giving birth during the coronavirus pandemic: Tips on staying calm

Several hospitals have moved to ban visitors or birthing partners from hospitals due to the coronavirus outbreak. There are steps you can take to help relieve anxiety.

What drives people to 'panic-buy'?

Officials have urged Americans to stop hoarding such supplies and to keep those who may not have the needs or ability to purchase such products in mind, but the unknowns about the ever-evolving situation are still driving thousands to the stores to stock up.

Coronavirus: FAQ

What is coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a family of viruses named after their appearance, a crown, said Dr. Mark Rupp, an infectious disease expert at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

What is COVID-19 and how is it different from other coronaviruses?

COVID-19 is not the same as other coronaviruses that commonly circulate among humans and cause mild illness, like the common cold. Some cause illness in people, and others, such as canine and feline coronaviruses, only infect animals. Rarely, animal coronaviruses that infect animals have emerged to infect people and can spread between people, which is suspected to have occurred for the virus that causes COVID-19.

When did the outbreak start?

The World Health Organization's China office says it began receiving reports in late December of a mysterious virus behind a number of pneumonia cases in Wuhan, a city in eastern China with a population of roughly 11 million people.

How does coronavirus compare to other outbreaks?

SARS and MERS came from animals, and this newest virus almost certainly did, too.