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Coronavirus Fact Sheet


Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some causing illness in people and others circulating among animals, including camels, cats and bats. The 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new virus that causes respiratory illness in people and can spread from person-to-person. This virus was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China. Human coronaviruses spread just like the flu or a cold—through the air by coughing or sneezing; through close personal contact, like touching or shaking hands; by touching an object or surface with the viruses on it; and occasionally, through fecal contamination.

What Are the Symptoms?

Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus and can include cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, and fever. Other symptoms can be found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's website.

What Can You Do to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19?

  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Cover any coughs or sneezes with your elbow, do not use your hands!
  • Clean surfaces frequently, such as countertops, light switches, cell phones and other frequently touched areas
  • Contain- if you are sick, stay home until you are feeling better.

What Can You Do If You Are Sick?

If you are sick with COVID-19 or think you are infected with the virus, stay home. It is essential that you take steps to help prevent the disease from spreading to people in your home and community. If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms, such as a cough or have difficulty breathing, call your healthcare provider for medical advice.

Resources for More Information

For more information, visit the department's website and the CDC website.  

Help is available, contact the Crisis Text Line by texting PA to 741-741. 

Date created: 1/27/2020; Date updated: 5/12/2020