COVID-19 Hotline toll-free (800) 722-5725
The CDC is closely monitoring an outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel (new) coronavirus (named COVID-19) that was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China and which continues to expand.
- CDC Novel Cornovirus (COVID-19) Site
- Kentucky Novel Cornovirus (COVID-19) Site
- Kentucky and Lake Cumberland COVID-19 Trend Chart
- COVID-19 Hotline toll-free (800) 722-5725
How COVID-19 Spreads
Much is unknown about how COVID-19, a new coronavirus, spreads. Current knowledge is largely based on what is known about similar coronaviruses. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can infect people and then spread between people such as with MERS, SARS, and now with COVID-19.
Most often, spread from person-to-person happens among close contacts (about 6 feet). Person-to-person spread is thought to occur mainly via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, similar to how influenza and other respiratory pathogens spread. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. It’s currently unclear if a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes.
Current research suggests people can be contagious before they are symptomatic (sick).
For confirmed COVID-19 infections, reported illnesses have ranged from people with little to no symptoms to people being severely ill and dying. Symptoms can include:
- Shortness of breath
CDC believes at this time that symptoms of COVID-19 may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 after exposure.
Prevention & Treatment
There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19 infection. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- 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.
- Follow CDC’s recommendations for using facemask.
- CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear facemask to protect themselves from respiratory viruses, including COVID-19.
- Facemask should be used by people who show symptoms of 2019 novel coronavirus, in order to protect others from the risk of getting infected. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
There is no specific antiviral treatment recommended for COVID-19 infection. People infected with COVID-19 should receive supportive care to help relieve symptoms.
People who think they may have been exposed to COVID-19 should contact your healthcare provider immediately.