Answers to your most common questions:
1. What is a coronavirus?
It is a novel virus named for the crownlike spikes that protrude from its surface. The coronavirus can infect both animals and people and can cause a range of respiratory illnesses from the common cold to lung lesions and pneumonia.
2. How contagious is the virus?
It seems to spread very easily from person to person, especially in homes, hospitals and other confined spaces. The pathogen can travel through the air, enveloped in tiny respiratory droplets that are produced when a sick person breathes, talks, coughs or sneezes.
3. Where has the virus spread?
4. What symptoms should I look out for?
Symptoms, which can take between two to 14 days to appear, include fever, a dry cough, fatigue and difficulty breathing or shortness of breath. Milder cases may resemble the flu or a bad cold, but people may be able to pass on the virus even before they develop symptoms.
5. How do I keep myself and others safe?
6. How can I prepare for a possible outbreak?
7. What if I’m traveling?
8. How long will it take to develop a treatment or vaccine?