What is a Coronavirus?
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, that include the common cold to more serious diseases such as pneumonia. Some can cause illness in people, and others that circulate among animals including camels, cats, and bats. Animal coronaviruses rarely spread to people.
This new coronavirus was originally thought to be spreading from animal-to-person, but a large number of patients have not had exposure to animal markets, which means the virus is spreading person-to-person. Human coronaviruses are common throughout the world and commonly cause mild to moderate illness in people worldwide. However, the emergence of new coronaviruses, such as SARS and MERS, have caused more severe respiratory (breathing) illness.
Please take note of these precautions:
There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home if possible.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
Illinois COVID-19 Hotline and Email Address
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is posting updates on its website that include summaries outlining case numbers and a map and list of affected states and countries. If you have questions about Coronavirus, you may call the Illinois Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Hotline 1(800) 889-3931 or, email DPH.SICK@ILLINOIS.GOV at any time.
Follow CDC Guidance
For more background information on the coronavirus and for the latest updates, please use the following links: