[Updated: March 18, 2020]
The new coronavirus, first identified in China in December 2019, has caused a pandemic of respiratory illness that the World Health Organization named COVID-19 in February 2020. Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that cause the common cold or more severe diseases such as SARS and MERS. This illness is spreading much like the flu and is causing severe breathing problems in some people.
The situation surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic is new territory for all of us, and there's a lot of information out there to read. But, it's especially important during this time to keep communication between you and your kids open so that they don't feel left out.
How does it spread?
Similar to how the flu is spread, COVID-19 usually spreads from close person-to-person contact (within about 6 feet) and through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The virus may also spread when droplets remain in the air or land on surfaces people touch.
What are the symptoms?
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 reported are:
- Fever (101°F or higher)
- Shortness of breath
- Other flu-like symptoms
What is the treatment?
Currently, there is no specific treatment for COVID-19. People with COVID-19 should receive care to help relieve symptoms. For severe cases, treatment should include care to support vital organ functions.