Search for COVID-19 and Reopening Information Here

Coronavirus Information

About the Virus FAQs

  • After arriving from a country with a level 3 travel health notice related to COVID-19, when can I return to work?

    Currently, all travelers arriving from a country or region with widespread ongoing transmission of COVID-19 (Level 3 Travel Health Notice) should stay home for 14 days after their arrival. At home,...
    Learn More
  • 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). ...
    Learn More
  • Am I at risk for COVID-19 in the United States?

    This is a rapidly evolving situation and the risk assessment may change daily. The latest updates are available on CDC's Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) website. Source: Centers for Disease Con...
    Learn More
  • Am I at risk if I go to a funeral or visitation service for someone who died of COVID-19?

    There is currently no known risk associated with being in the same room at a funeral or visitation service with the body of someone who died of COVID-19. Source: Centers for Disease Control and Pre...
    Learn More
  • Am I at risk if I touch someone who died of COVID-19 after they have passed away?

    COVID-19 is a new disease and we are still learning how it spreads. The virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to mainly spread from close contact (i.e., within about 6 feet) with a person who is cu...
    Learn More
  • Am I likely to get sicker if I'm exposed to multiple infected people, similar to medical professionals being exposed to multiple infected individuals?

    Symptom severity can be influenced by many different factors. For other viruses, oftentimes more exposure leads to more rapid disease and a higher likelihood of severe symptoms. Also, people who ar...
    Learn More
  • Are ammonia-based wipes an effective disinfectant for COVID-19?

    Neither the American Chemistry Council nor the EPA recommend ammonia for killing COVID-19 on surfaces. Bleach is a much better option. More information can be found in the sources below: https://ww...
    Learn More
  • Are antibiotics effective in preventing or treating the COVID-19?

    No. According to the World Health Organization, antibiotics do not work against viruses. They only work on bacterial infections. COVID-19 is caused by a virus, so antibiotics do not work. Antibioti...
    Learn More
  • Are current estimates of cases accurate?

    No. It is estimated that official counts of infections underestimate the number of cases. First, due to a failure to test more people whether due to a lack of availability of testing kits or due to...
    Learn More
  • Are layovers included in CDC’s recommendation to avoid nonessential travel?

    Yes. Airport layovers in international destinations with a level 3 travel health notice are included in CDC's recommendation to avoid nonessential travel. If a layover is unavoidable, CDC recommend...
    Learn More
  • Are people with hyper/overly active immune systems, such as those with MS, at high risk like those with weakened immune systems?

    For patients with autoimmune disorders such as Multiple Sclerosis, treatments often include suppressing some aspects of the immune system. This means that these individuals may be more susceptible ...
    Learn More
  • Are pregnant healthcare personnel at increased risk for adverse outcomes if they care for patients with COVID-19?

    Pregnant healthcare personnel (HCP) should follow risk assessment and infection control guidelines for HCP exposed to patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19. Adherence to recommended infecti...
    Learn More
  • Are there therapies available to treat COVID-19?

    Scientists are currently testing different types of antivirals that work against influenza, HIV, and even Ebola, to see if they are effective against COVID-19 virus. Remdesivir is one treatment tha...
    Learn More
  • 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...
    Learn More
  • Can a person test negative and later test positive for COVID-19?

    Using the CDC-developed diagnostic test, a negative result means that the virus that causes COVID-19 was not found in the person's sample. In the early stages of infection, it is possible the virus...
    Learn More
  • Can CDC help me get a refund from my airline or cruise line?

    Each company establishes its own refund policies, and CDC cannot intervene to get them to change their policies. Some companies may base their policies on CDC's travel health notices. The decision ...
    Learn More
  • Can children catch the COVID-19 virus at school?

    Yes. Respiratory viral diseases, including COVID-19, are spread when people come into contact with one another. This means that any place where people gather in close proximity can lead to viral tr...
    Learn More
  • Can children get COVID-19?

    Yes. Children can catch the virus which causes COVID-19. However, children are no more likely to get COVID-19 than adults, and when they do catch it, they typically have mild symptoms, and many hav...
    Learn More
  • Can COVID-19 be passed from a pregnant woman to the fetus or newborn?

    We still do not know if a pregnant woman with COVID-19 can pass the virus that causes COVID-19 to her fetus or baby during pregnancy or delivery. No infants born to mothers with COVID-19 have teste...
    Learn More
  • Can COVID-19 be passed via currencies (dollar bills, coins, checks, etc.)?

    Yes, SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes the disease COVID-19) can survive on surfaces like dollar bills. How long the virus survives is dependent on the surface itself as well as environmental condi...
    Learn More
  • 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...
    Learn More
  • Can getting the flu shot, or vaccines against pneumonia, help ward off pneumonia brought on by COVID-19?

    There is no evidence that getting the vaccination against influenza will help against COVID-19. They are different viruses and the antibodies that protect us from one virus do not protect us agains...
    Learn More
  • Can I travel to the United States with dogs or import dogs into the United States during the COVID-19 outbreak?

    Please refer to CDC's requirements for bringing a dog to the United States. The current requirements for rabies vaccination apply to dogs imported from China, a high-risk country for rabies. Source...
    Learn More
  • Can just hot water kill the COVID-19 virus on surfaces? If yes, for how long?

    No, hot water alone cannot kill the virus that causes COVID-19 on surfaces. The virus (SARS-CoV-2) has a fat-based envelope that makes it very susceptible to detergents and alcohol. While it is lik...
    Learn More
  • Can my pet dog or cat catch COVID-19 and give it to me? Could the virus be on animal fur?

    Two dogs in Hong Kong and a cat in Belgium have tested positive for COVID-19. There have been no reports of pets passing the virus to their human owners, and even human-to-pet transmission is not b...
    Learn More
  • Can people infected with COVID-19 spread the disease before appearing to be ill?

    Yes. US health officials have indicated that the COVID-19 virus can indeed be spread by infected individuals prior to the onset of symptoms such as coughing, fever, and shortness of breath. Nationa...
    Learn More
  • 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...
    Learn More
  • 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...
    Learn More
  • 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...
    Learn More
  • 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...
    Learn More
  • 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 ...
    Learn More
  • 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...
    Learn More
  • Can UV light be used to inactivate the virus?

    Although there are no specific studies to date evaluating the UV inactivation of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19), the antimicrobial potential of UVC light has long been established. Its...
    Learn More
  • Could the coronavirus be on fruits, vegetables, produce, or other food products?

    Researchers have found that the COVID-19 virus can be viable on plastic for up to 3 days, and on cardboard for up to 24 hours. So it would not be surprising to find COVID-19 virus on, for example, ...
    Learn More
  • Could the tap water I drink have coronavirus in it?

    The COVID-19 virus has not been detected indrinking water. Conventional water treatment methods that use filtration and disinfection, such as those in most municipal drinking water systems, should ...
    Learn More
  • Do chloroquine phosphate or hydroxychloroquine help fight coronavirus?

    Based on the available data, hydroxychloroquine is not an effective treatment for the coronavirus. A 96,000-patient observational study concluded that hydroxychloroquine had no effect on COVID-19, ...
    Learn More
  • 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...
    Learn More
  • Do patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 need to be admitted to the hospital?

    Not all patients with COVID-19 require hospital admission. Patients whose clinical presentation warrants in-patient clinical management for supportive medical care should be admitted to the hospita...
    Learn More
  • 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...
    Learn More
  • Does COVID-19 affect people with different blood types differently?

    There hasn't been enough research to conclusively say whether different blood types are more or less susceptible to COVID-19. There has only been one study that investigates the relationship betwee...
    Learn More
  • Does the microwave kill the virus?

    Microwaves kill germs in food by heating up mainly water in an object to high temperatures, which passes heat throughout the food - not directly from the radiation. It is important to cook food to ...
    Learn More
  • Does the size of a population make a difference in outcomes during an outbreak (US vs Italy, for example)?

    We often talk about outbreaks in terms of the proportion of a population that is affected. Important factors in determining the proportion of a population that is affected include population densit...
    Learn More
  • Has anyone in the United States gotten infected?

    Yes. So far there have been hundreds of thousands of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the US and, tragically, tens of thousands of deaths. The Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and ...
    Learn More
  • How are suspected COVID-19 cases confirmed?

    People suspected of being infected by the COVID-19 virus will have respiratory samples (i.e. mucus) taken by healthcare professionals that will then be analyzed by public health labs, hospital labs...
    Learn More
  • 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 ...
    Learn More
  • How are travelers from countries with a level 3 health notice being screened when they enter the United States?

    At this time, American citizens, lawful permanent residents, and family members (as specified in the Presidential Proclamation) who have been in countries with widespread ongoing transmission (Leve...
    Learn More
  • 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...
    Learn More
  • How can I prevent myself from getting the virus?

    To ensure the lowest chance of obtaining the virus, and spreading the virus to others, it is critical that everyone begin intensive social distancing immediately. As much as possible, limit contact...
    Learn More
  • How can I take care of myself at home?

    If you have possible or confirmed COVID-19: Stay home from work, school, and away from other public places. If you must go out, avoid using any kind of public transportation, ridesharing, or taxi...
    Learn More
  • 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...
    Learn More
  • How do antivirals work?

    Antivirals are a class of medications used for treating viruses. Viruses cannot reproduce on their own so to survive they seek out healthy cells in the human body and use these to make 'copies' of ...
    Learn More
  • How do hand sanitizers work?

    For a virus, sanitizers work by disrupting the virus's outer coat, including the novel coronavirus. For bacteria , they work by disrupting its cell membrane. According to the CDC, hand sanitizers a...
    Learn More
  • 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. Testing is now available to everyone in New Jersey. Find a testing location near you by visiting covid19.nj.gov/testing. I...
    Learn More
  • How do I know if I have the virus?

    Symptoms can appear anywhere from 2-14 days after exposure. Symptoms consist of fever, coughing, and shortness of breath. If any of those symptoms occur, call your doctor to discuss next steps or g...
    Learn More
  • How do I prevent myself from becoming sick when taking care of someone who is already sick?

    Have the person stay in one room, away from other people, including yourself, as much as possible. If possible, have them use a separate bathroom. Avoid sharing personal household items, like dish...
    Learn More
  • How do I treat the symptoms of someone who is sick at home?

    - Make sure the sick person drinks a lot of fluids to stay hydrated and rests at home. - Over-the-counter medicines may help with symptoms. - For most people, symptoms last a few days and get bette...
    Learn More
  • How do vaccines work?

    Vaccines work by imitating infection and stimulating a person's immune system to develop protections against a disease. Sometimes getting a vaccine can lead to mild symptoms of the disease, such as...
    Learn More
  • How does a typical COVID-19 test work?

    The tests generally take a sample from a patient and process it so that the virus's specific genetic signature can be detected. Drafted 16 March 2020
    Learn More
  • How does the CDC COVID-19 test work?

    CDC recommends collecting and testing a single upper respiratory swab from the nostril. This sample is then processed. Using a technique called real-time reverse transcriptase (RT)-polymerase chain...
    Learn More
  • 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...
    Learn More
  • How long does the COVID-19 virus stay transmissible?

    Currently, experts do not know exactly how long the virus can stay infectious because it is so new. Typically, viruses last longer on hard surfaces, like a countertop or plastic or metal playground...
    Learn More
  • How many people are currently infected?

    For data on confirmed cases of COVID-19 novel coronavirus infection, visit the dashboard created and maintained by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. Drafte...
    Learn More
  • 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...
    Learn More
  • 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...
    Learn More
  • How might seasonal flu symptoms be different from coronavirus symptoms?

    Symptoms from the seasonal flu and COVID-19 are not very different. A person sick with either the flu or COVID-19 may experience fever, fatigue, a cough, and shortness of breath or difficulty breat...
    Learn More
  • How much money is the federal government spending to address the coronavirus pandemic, and what is the US spending the money on?

    The federal government is spending billions of dollars to combat COVID-19. Explore who the US is buying from, what it's buying, and how much it's paying using this interactive tracker created by Pr...
    Learn More
  • How should I take care of someone at home?

    Most people who get sick with COVID-19 will have only mild illness and should recover at home.* Care at home can help stop the spread of COVID-19 and help protect people who are at risk for getting...
    Learn More
  • If a person who is infected with coronavirus, but who does not have symptoms, donates blood, and a patient eventually receives blood from that person, is the patient at risk of infection, and also at risk of spreading the virus themselves?

    To date, there has been no evidence of transfusion-based transmission of the COVID-19 virus (SARS-CoV-2), nor of the related coronavirus SARS-CoV-1. The AABB says that "individuals are not at risk ...
    Learn More
  • If I get infected, when do symptoms appear?

    Symptoms can appear between 2-14 days after exposure, though some people may not have any symptoms while still being contagious. It's also important to consider whether you've been in contact with ...
    Learn More
  • 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,...
    Learn More
  • If two people are suspected to be infected, can they self isolate in close proximity to each other?

    Unless it is unavoidable, two people 'suspected' of being infected should not be isolated together if they will have contact with each other or the potential to spread the disease between one anoth...
    Learn More
  • 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...
    Learn More
  • In what ways could the healthcare system become overwhelmed?

    COVID-19 can lead to dehydration, pneumonia, lung inflammation, and septic shock, and about 20 percent of people with COVID-19 require hospitalization. The pressure on the healthcare system is expe...
    Learn More
  • Is Bactine effective as hand sanitizer against COVID-19 virus?

    According to the active ingredients list, Bactine uses Benzalkonium as an antiseptic (as substance that stops germs). One recent study found that Benzalkoium is not as effective as alcohol-based sa...
    Learn More
  • 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...
    Learn More
  • Is hand sanitizer effective against the virus?

    If used properly, alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol is an effective way to kill the COVID-19 virus. Hand sanitizer is often faster and easier, however if you have the option, y...
    Learn More
  • Is it possible to use convalescent serum - antibodies from those who have recovered from COVID-19 - to treat others?

    This is a strategy that is currently being tested. The concept of giving antibodies from one person to another to protect from disease is called passive immunization. You may also hear about this i...
    Learn More
  • Is it safe to eat takeout food?

    Properly prepared cooked food is unlikely to get you sick with COVID-19. Although there could be some risk from the person-to-person interaction of picking up food or getting delivery, this might s...
    Learn More
  • Is it safe to go on a cruise?

    CDC recommends all travelers, particularly older adults and people of any age with serious chronic medical conditions defer all cruise ship travel worldwide. Recent reports of COVID-19 on cruise sh...
    Learn More
  • Is it safe to go to the grocery store?

    If you're in short supply of food and supplies, and think that going for groceries is an absolute need, you can go. But keep in mind to take appropriate precautions, wear a cloth face covering, use...
    Learn More
  • Is it safe to go...to the gym...on playdates...to parties...out to the bars for drinks...to sleepovers...to friends’ or family members’ homes for meals or visits...to coffee shops...?

    Spread of the COVID-19 virus makes visiting the gym, and all social interactions, riskier. Many facilities have already shut down and more and more localities are taking steps to limit social inter...
    Learn More
  • Is it safe to read my mail or the newspaper or handle packages delivered to my house?

    While the likelihood of becoming infected with the COVID-19 virus from mail, newspapers, or packages is low, the CDC says it's a good idea to wipe them down with a disinfecting cloth that contains ...
    Learn More
  • Is it safe to use a swimming pool during the COVID-19 outbreak?

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as long as the swimming pool is properly maintained with the appropriate levels of chlorine and bromine, pools and also hot tubs should ...
    Learn More
  • Is it safe to visit a newborn baby? If not, how long should I stay away?

    While children seem to fare well during coronavirus infections, newborns do not have fully developed immune systems. A study of children conducted in China found that of various age groups, newborn...
    Learn More
  • 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...
    Learn More
  • 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...
    Learn More
  • 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 ...
    Learn More
  • Is there a good example of country data?

    South Korea has made testing many, many people in their country for COVID-19 a priority. A dataset of COVID-19 cases in South Korea is available on Kaggle. Drafted: 11 March 2020
    Learn More
  • Is there a test for COVID-19?

    Yes. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) developed a test that is used to diagnose the COVID-19 virus in most public health laboratories. In addition, many hospital and commerci...
    Learn More
  • Is this virus really more dangerous for older people / the elderly / seniors? Why?

    One of the main reasons that this virus (as well as many others) is especially dangerous to older individuals is that our immune system becomes less effective as we age. This process is called immu...
    Learn More
  • My family member died from COVID-19 while overseas. What are the requirements for returning the body to the United States?

    CDC does not require an autopsy before the remains of a person who died overseas are returned to the United States. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the death, some countries may require ...
    Learn More
  • Q: Will vodka or other hard alcohols work as disinfectants against the coronavirus? What about vinegar?

    Vodka, or other hard alcohols, are not recommended for disinfecting surfaces. Furthermore, there is no evidence that vinegar is effective against coronavirus. It would be best to use diluted bleach...
    Learn More
  • 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...
    Learn More
  • Should I be tested for COVID-19?

    If you develop symptoms such as fever, cough, and/or difficulty breathing, and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or have recently traveled from an area with ongoing sp...
    Learn More
  • Should I cancel my trip because of the COVID-19 outbreak?

    CDC provides recommendations for international travel, including guidance on when to consider postponing or canceling travel. Most of the time, this guidance is provided through travel health notic...
    Learn More
  • Should I take over-the-counter medication to reduce my fever if I think I have COVID-19?

    Over-the-counter options for fever reducers include ibuprofen and acetaminophen. The World Health Organization (WHO) has clarified that it does not recommend against the use of ibuprofen as a self-...
    Learn More
  • Should I wear a mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19?

    Yes. Up to 25 percent of people infected with the novel coronavirus may not exhibit symptoms, and could be able to spread COVID-19 to others by breathing or talking. Furthermore, those who are infe...
    Learn More
  • Should travelers wear facemasks?

    Up to 25 percent of people infected with the novel coronavirus may not exhibit symptoms, and could be able to spread COVID-19 to others by breathing or talking. Furthermore, those who are infected ...
    Learn More
  • Since there is a shortage of masks, is it possible to make your own?

    The CDC has stated that if no manufactured masks are available, that homemade masks such as bandanas or scarves may be used as a last resort. Although, there have not been studies done to see wheth...
    Learn More
  • 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...
    Learn More
  • What are the symptoms of the virus?

    People with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) have had a wide range of illnesses reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness and death. These symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exp...
    Learn More
  • What do funeral home workers need to know about handling decedents who had COVID-19?

    A funeral or visitation service can be held for a person who has died of COVID-19. Funeral home workers should follow their routine infection prevention and control precautions when handling a dece...
    Learn More
  • 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...
    Learn More
  • What does pooled testing mean?

    To save supplies, especially in situations where resources are limited, and test more people, pooled testing may be implemented. Pooled testing means taking samples from multiple people, storing pa...
    Learn More
  • What does random testing mean?

    Random testing means selecting people for a test arbitrarily. Take, for example, a test meant to figure out how common COVID-19 exposure is in a town of 10,000 people. Testing everyone who works at...
    Learn More
  • What happens if there is a sick passenger on a flight?

    Under current federal regulations, pilots must report all illnesses and deaths to CDC before arriving to a US destination. According to CDC disease protocols, if a sick traveler is considered to be...
    Learn More
  • 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...
    Learn More
  • What happens when you get COVID-19 and it’s bad enough that you need to be treated in the hospital?

    Most hospital care involves management of conditions that happen as a result of a COVID-19 infection, for instance, pneumonia or severe respiratory distress. Most treatment for these conditions inc...
    Learn More
  • 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...
    Learn More
  • 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...
    Learn More
  • 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...
    Learn More
  • What is the best way to use hand sanitizer?

    The best technique is to apply about a dime-sized amount, and then carefully and thoroughly rub it over the palms and the back of the hands and let it dry completely. Hand sanitizer is a good way t...
    Learn More
  • What is the fatality rate?

    As of May 14, around 6.8% of reported COVID-19 cases (globally) had died. The current mortality for known cases of COVID-19 is about 2.4% in South Korea and 4.5% in Germany, countries where there h...
    Learn More
  • What is the likelihood of dying from COVID-19 as an elderly person?

    In the US, fatality rates are reported as ranging from 10-27 percent for persons 85 and older. For persons between the ages of 65 and 85 it is between 3 and 11 percent. However, co-morbidities such...
    Learn More
  • 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 ...
    Learn More
  • What is the risk of getting COVID-19 on an airplane?

    Because of how air circulates and is filtered on airplanes, most viruses and other germs do not spread easily on airplanes. Although the risk of infection on an airplane is low, travelers should tr...
    Learn More
  • 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...
    Learn More
  • 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...
    Learn More
  • What is the survivability of the COVID-19 virus outside the human body?

    Currently, experts do not know exactly how long the virus can stay infectious because it is so new. The World Health Organization's early estimates suggest that COVID-19 virus can survive on hard s...
    Learn More
  • 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....
    Learn More
  • What should healthcare workers be wearing to be protected when dealing with patients?

    The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommends that healthcare workers use a combination of standard procedures to protect themselves, including wearing gowns, gloves, eye/face...
    Learn More
  • What should I do if a member of my family dies from COVID-19 while they are overseas?

    When a US citizen dies outside the United States, the deceased person's next of kin or legal representative should notify US consular officials at the Department of State. Consular personnel are av...
    Learn More
  • What should I do if an outbreak occurs near me?

    Just like people should prepare for hurricanes, people should be prepared in case of a pandemic. People should have a two-week supply of food, water, and necessary prescription and non-prescription...
    Learn More
  • What should I do if I am breastfeeding and being evaluated for COVID-19 virus infection?

    This interim guidance is intended for women who are confirmed to have COVID-19 or are persons-under-investigation (PUI) for COVID-19 and are currently breastfeeding. This interim guidance is based ...
    Learn More
  • What should people at higher risk of serious illness with COVID-19 do?

    If you are at higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19, you should: stock up on supplies; take everyday precautions to keep space between yourself and others; when you go out in public, keep ...
    Learn More
  • What symptoms should I look out for when taking care of someone at home? When do I know it is time to seek immediate medical attention for them?

    Have their healthcare provider's contact information on hand. If they are getting sicker, call their healthcare provider. For medical emergencies, call 911 and notify the dispatch personnel that th...
    Learn More
  • What would lead you to believe that someone is infected with COVID-19?

    Identifying people who may be infected with COVID-19 virus relies on recognizing the symptoms that are caused by infection (fever, cough, shortness of breath), ruling out other causes for those sym...
    Learn More
  • When did the coronavirus first start spreading in the United States?

    It is believed that the first chain of sustained transmission of COVID-19 in the United States probably started when a person returned to the country in Washington State in mid-February. Drafted 27...
    Learn More
  • 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...
    Learn More
  • When is it okay to end home isolation, or leave home, after recovering from COVID-19?

    People with COVID-19 who have stayed home (home isolated) can leave home under the following conditions*: If you have not had a test to determine if you are still contagious, you can leave home aft...
    Learn More
  • 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...
    Learn More
  • When should I wash my hands?

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has guidelines for when people should wash their hands, such as: Before, during, and after preparing food. Before eating food. Before and after carin...
    Learn More
  • When will a vaccine be developed?

    Many organizations are working on developing a vaccine for the novel coronavirus. Public health officials estimate that a safe and effective vaccine may be ready for the public in 12-18 months. Eff...
    Learn More
  • 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...
    Learn More
  • Where is a good place to find a current death toll?

    Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University. Please note that it is widely known that all measures undercount the actual n...
    Learn More
  • Where is a good place to find a map of coronavirus cases?

    Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University. Please note that it is widely known that all measures undercount the actual n...
    Learn More
  • Where is a good place to find data about coronavirus?

    The Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering created a dashboard for tracking the COVID-19 pandemic. The World Health Organization is also tracking the COVID-19 pandemic ...
    Learn More
  • 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...
    Learn More
  • Who should be donating blood now in response to the current blood shortage? What factors should be considered, like blood type and risk?

    The Red Cross is currently facing shortages of all blood types and products due to COVID-19-related cancellations of blood drives. As of March 19th, individuals are asked to refrain from donating f...
    Learn More
  • 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...
    Learn More
  • Why close schools if children do not get very sick with COVID-19?

    Even children who do not show symptoms may still carry the disease and pass it on to others. COVID-19 can easily be transmitted from person to person, and people do not have pre-existing immunity. ...
    Learn More
  • Why do viruses survive outside the human body?

    Viruses survive outside our bodies because of how they are built. Specifically, they are pieces of genetic material (RNA or DNA) contained in a special coating of proteins called capsids. Viruses c...
    Learn More
  • Why is washing hands with soap and water so important?

    Soap destroys germs by wedging into them and essentially pulling them apart. The coronavirus can be thought of as a grease ball. Soap is a bit like a magnet: One part of soap molecules is attracted...
    Learn More
  • Why will it take so long for a coronavirus vaccine to be ready?

    Vaccine development takes a long time because there are many steps in the process. Researchers must ensure the vaccine is safe and causes the correct immune response without causing other problems....
    Learn More
  • 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...
    Learn More
  • Will the coronavirus pandemic start over again when human activity returns to normal?

    A recent study from infectious disease experts at Imperial College London in the United Kingdom modeled how things might evolve depending on what measures governments take now. These models predict...
    Learn More
  • 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...
    Learn More
  • Will there be permanent damage to my lungs or other organs if I’m infected with the COVID-19 virus?

    Doctors in Hong Kong have found that some patients who fully recovered from the coronavirus can be left with substantial lung capacity weakening, with some patients experiencing a drop of 20-30%. H...
    Learn More
  • 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...
    Learn More
  • Would closing schools help prevent the spread of COVID-19?

    In the past, closing schools does appear to have helped to control the spread of viruses like influenza. This is because children tend to be very susceptible to common human respiratory viruses. Th...
    Learn More

Testing Information FAQs

  • Is it possible to test if someone had the virus but is cured now?

    Serological tests (tests that look for antibodies specific to a bacteria or virus) are a common diagnostic for other infections and could be developed. A serological test could tell you if you have...
    Learn More