Coronavirus: The Facts


Nate Brigman

It seems like everyone these days is an expert on the coronavirus outbreak, but what does the Center for Disease Control (CDC) say about it? What are the facts?


What are the symptoms?

According to the CDC’s website, “Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death for confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases. These symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure (based on the incubation period of MERS-CoV viruses): Fever, cough, shortness of breath.” However, the CDC only advises you to get medical attention for “emergency warning signs” such as: “Trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion or inability to arouse, bluish lips or face.” 


How does the virus spread?

The CDC’s website states, “The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person, between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet), through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Some recent studies have suggested that COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms.” Many health professionals advise that this virus is most likely asymptomatic, which means only 20% of carriers seem to show symptoms.


How can you prevent exposure to the virus?

The CDC recommends several preventive measures. Washing your hands is of the utmost importance, with the CDC recommending, “Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.” Other measures include: Avoid close contact with others, cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others, cover coughs and sneezes, and routinely clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces. 


For more information about the coronavirus outbreak and how you can protect yourself and others, visit