Ask Your COVID-19 Questions Here

About Novel Coronavirus 2019 FAQs

  • Am I at risk for COVID-19 from a package or products shipping from China?

    There is still a lot that is unknown about the newly emerged COVID-19 and how it spreads. Two other coronaviruses have emerged previously to cause severe illness in people (MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV). ...
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  • Are there two strains of the COVID-19 virus? I've heard there is an S and an L strain - is one more severe?

    The existence of an S strain and an L strain remains controversial in the scientific community, at least in terms of these being distinct contagions. Viruses evolve continually, so there are likely...
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  • Can COVID-19 cause problems for a pregnancy? If a pregnant woman has COVID-19 during pregnancy, will it hurt the baby?

    We do not know at this time if COVID-19 would cause problems during pregnancy or affect the health of the baby after birth. We do not know at this time what if any risk is posed to infants of a pre...
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  • Can people who recover from COVID-19 be infected again?

    The immune response to COVID-19 is not yet understood. Patients with MERS-CoV infection are unlikely to be re-infected shortly after they recover, but it is not yet known whether similar immune pro...
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  • Can someone who has been quarantined for COVID-19 spread the illness to others?

    Quarantine means separating a person or group of people who have been exposed to a contagious disease but have not developed illness (symptoms) from others who have not been exposed, in order to pr...
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  • Can the coronavirus infect fruits or vegetables?

    No, coronaviruses are not known to infect fruits or vegetables. Plant cells are built differently than animal cells, with the former having very tough cell walls. Viruses that infect animals or hum...
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  • Can the coronavirus spread through sweat?

    There is no evidence that the virus can be spread through sweat. However, the virus can be transmitted in places like gyms by other means - through respiratory droplets that pass from person to per...
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  • Can the COVID-19 virus be spread through food, including refrigerated or frozen food?

    Coronaviruses are generally thought to be spread from person-to-person through respiratory droplets. Currently there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with food. Before ...
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  • Can the virus be transmitted through mosquito bites?

    There is no evidence to suggest so far that this virus can be transmitted through mosquitoes. References https://www.mosquito.org/news/492656/Can-Mosquitoes-Transmit-the-Coronavirus.htm https://www...
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  • Do imported animals or animal products pose a risk?

    CDC does not have any evidence to suggest that imported animals or animal products pose a risk for spreading COVID-19 in the United States. This is a rapidly evolving situation and information will...
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  • Do people who recover from COVID-19 gain immunity to the novel coronavirus?

    Experts expect that the majority of people who recover from COVID-19 will gain immunity to the novel coronavirus for at least some amount of time. The question is, for how long. Scientists are stud...
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  • How are the coronaviruses that cause the common cold different from the COVID-19 virus?

    Unlike the four strains of coronavirus behind about 20% of the cases of common cold, COVID-19 virus can cause severe illness, and even death. This is because while coronaviruses causing the common ...
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  • How can I get infected?

    COVID-19 spreads when a person with the virus coughs, sneezes, talks, or exhales. Small droplets land on the skin and enter the body when one touches their face around their nose or mouth. Breathin...
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  • How can people help stop stigma related to COVID-19?

    People can fight stigma and help, not hurt, others by providing social support. Counter stigma by learning and sharing facts. Communicating the facts that viruses do not target specific racial or e...
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  • How do I know if I am an asymptomatic carrier?

    The only definitive way to know if you have COVID-19 is by getting tested. If you cannot get tested, you should assume you are a carrier if you have had direct contact with a confirmed COVID-19 pat...
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  • How does the coronavirus affect children?

    The CDC advises that children are no more susceptible to the virus than the general population. Children who are infected with the coronavirus usually have mild respiratory symptoms. As this situat...
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  • How many people have severe symptoms from the coronavirus?

    On 6 March the World Health Organization reported that 80% of infections were mild or showed no symptoms, about 15% were severe infections, and 5% were critical infections. Those who have severe sy...
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  • How many people will get sick with COVID-19?

    National and international organizations are working on models to estimate the number of people who will get sick, but the situation is changing rapidly. It is possible that models will underestima...
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  • If someone has a cold or the flu, can he/she still become infected with COVID-19?

    Yes, you can be infected with multiple viruses at once, this is called co-infection. It is currently unknown how common co-infection is with COVID-19. COVID-19 virus, the virus that causes the flu,...
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  • If you are infected again, would the second infection be more serious?

    During viral infection, the rule of thumb is that infection will lead to the development of a memory antibody response that is protective against future infection. However, for some viruses, like d...
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  • Is COVID-19 a biological weapon?

    There is no evidence to suggest that COVID-19 virus is a biological weapon. Scientific evidence suggests the COVID-19 virus spilled over from animals to people. One paper showed that the COVID-19 v...
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  • Is the COVID-19 virus airborne?

    When people infected with the COVID-19 virus breathe out, clear their throats, cough, sneeze, speak, or otherwise move air out through their nose or mouth, droplets of all different sizes, which ca...
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  • Is the novel coronavirus like the common cold?

    There are about four strains of coronavirus that cause about 20% of the cases of common cold. However, the COVID-19 virus can cause severe illness because it travels deep into the respiratory tract...
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  • Is the virus transmitted better in cold weather because of its fat layer?

    All coronaviruses possess a fat layer as a component of the viral envelope. There is, however, no evidence yet that SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) exhibits structural stability at low ...
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  • Should I avoid contact with pets or other animals if I am sick with COVID-19?

    You should restrict contact with pets and other animals while you are sick with COVID-19, just like you would around other people. Although there have not been reports of pets or other animals beco...
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  • Was the COVID-19 virus made in a laboratory?

    The COVID-19 virus was not designed in a laboratory. The COVID-19 virus is most closely related (96% identical) to a coronavirus that was previously identified in bats. Scientists are working aroun...
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  • What do I do if I am sick?

    If you have a fever, cough, or other symptoms, you might have COVID-19. Most people have mild illness and are able to recover at home. If you think you may have COVID-19, contact your healthcare pr...
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  • What happens to the COVID-19 virus when it rains?

    This is related to the assumptions that warmer air temperatures and higher humidity environments will slow the transmission of the virus. While this is the case for influenza, some studies show tha...
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  • What is community spread?

    Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected. Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Dra...
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  • What is COVID-19?

    The COVID-19 novel coronavirus is a new type of coronavirus that has not been previously identified. Like many emerging pathogens, it jumped from animals to human populations and has caused the cur...
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  • What is known about the clinical severity of COVID-19?

    When infected with COVID-19, some people may exhibit no or minor symptoms, while others may become very sick, or even die. The severity of the virus ranges from person to person. Older people and p...
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  • What is the official name of the novel coronavirus?

    The World Health Organization (WHO) has decided to name the disease caused by the novel coronavirus "COVID-19" and refers to the virus that causes it as the "COVID-19 virus." CO for corona, VI for ...
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  • What is the risk to pregnant women of getting COVID-19? Is it easier for pregnant women to become ill with the disease? If they become infected, will they be more sick than other people?

    We do not currently know if pregnant women have a greater chance of getting sick from COVID-19 than the general public nor whether they are more likely to have serious illness as a result. Pregnant...
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  • What is the survivability of the COVID-19 virus as compared to other viruses?

    While it is difficult to determine exactly how long viruses can stay intact outside the body, since it is so dependent on environmental conditions, different viruses do appear to have different lev...
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  • What precautions should be taken for animals that have been recently imported from China?

    Animals imported from China will need to meet CDC and USDA requirements for entering the United States. At this time, there is no evidence that companion animals including pets can spread COVID-19....
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  • When do scientists predict that spread of coronavirus and the number of cases will begin to plateau or decrease?

    Overall, it is difficult to predict when cases will diminish, particularly in the US. Some experts have suggested a seasonal role. Infectious disease physician at Johns Hopkins Center for Health Se...
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  • When is someone infectious?

    The onset and duration of viral shedding and period of infectiousness for COVID-19 are not yet conclusively known; however, early evidence indicates that people are likely most infectious right aft...
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  • Where did the coronavirus come from?

    Researchers have found that three quarters of new diseases come from animals. This is because every time a virus replicates, its genes can mutate and make it possible to spread from animals to peop...
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  • Which body fluids can spread infection?

    Very limited data are available about detection of SARS-CoV-2 and infectious virus in clinical specimens. SARS-CoV-2 RNA has been detected from upper and lower respiratory tract specimens, and SARS...
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  • Why aren't we asking only the most vulnerable in our communities to self-isolate instead of the entire population?

    While the elderly and those with certain underlying health conditions are most at risk for severe COVID-19, many young, healthy people are also becoming very ill and requiring hospitalization, or e...
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  • Why would someone blame or avoid individuals and groups because of COVID-19?

    People in the U.S. may be worried or anxious about friends and relatives who are living in or visiting areas where COVID-19 is spreading. Some people are worried about the disease. Fear and anxiety...
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  • Will the coronavirus survive in the refrigerator or freezer?

    A 2010study used two viruses that are related to the COVID-19 virus to look at the effects of temperature and humidity on viral survival. Researchers found that both lower temperatures and lower hu...
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  • Will the coronavirus survive in the refrigerator or freezer?

    A 2010 study used two viruses that are related to the COVID-19 virus to look at the effects of temperature and humidity on viral survival. Researchers found that both lower temperatures and lower h...
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  • Will warmer weather reduce the spread of COVID-19?

    There is still much to learn about the COVID-19 virus and experts currently do not know if it will diminish as the weather warms like the cold or flu. Other similar coronaviruses do not seem to slo...
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