COVID-19 is a disease caused by a coronavirus, which is a small germ (too small to see without a microscope), that can spread between people. COVID-19 causes flu-like symptoms such as a dry cough, shortness of breath, fever, weakness and body aches. COVID-19 mostly affects the respiratory system. While most infections are not dangerous, it can damage the lungs and cause pneumonia (a serious infection of the lungs) and can be deadly in severe cases.
How does coronavirus spread?
Coronavirus enters your body through the mouth, nose, and eyes when an infected person breathes, talks, coughs, or sneezes into the air near you or on surfaces you touch, and you then touch your eyes, nose or mouth. Most people start feeling sick about 5 days after getting infected, but coronavirus can live in the body for 2 to 14 days before signs of illness appear. And some people, especially children, can be infected but have no signs of illness. So people can have coronavirus and not know it, and transmit the virus to others. Coronavirus spreads more easily indoors and in crowds than in the open air.
Who does coronavirus infect?
Anyone can get coronavirus. If you get it and recover, you can get infected again. Adults more than 45 years old, especially the elderly, and people who already have respiratory illnesses, diabetes, heart problems, and weakened immune systems, are at greater risk to get COVID-19 and experience more severe effects. As more people are vaccinated, the less the virus will be able to spread.
How can you prevent infection?
Getting vaccinated is the best way to prevent COVID-19 infection in yourself and others. Until vaccines are available to everyone, you can prevent coronavirus from spreading in your community by wearing masks when outside the home, keeping your distance from others, and cleaning your hands and shared surfaces. Coronavirus is not killed by antibiotics or home remedies.
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