NOTE: Due to the end of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency declaration on May 11,2023, available data will change effective May 16, 2023.
WHAT IS COVID-19?
Coronavirus disease 2019, or COVID-19, is caused by a novel coronavirus named SARS-CoV-2 that was first identified as part of an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China, in December 2019.
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more serious diseases such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). A novel coronavirus is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans. As COVID-19 spreads among people, more variants of SARS-CoV-2 emerge, and currently a new subvariant called XBB.1.5 is on the rise in the U.S.
HOW DOES COVID-19 SPREAD?
The novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 spreads very easily from person to person through close contact (within 6 feet).
HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF AND OTHERS
Get vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2 and avoid exposure to this virus. People with COVID-19 have a wide range of clinical manifestations ranging from asymptomatic to respiratory failure with multi-organ dysfunction and death in severe cases. Older adults and people with underlying medical conditions are at higher risk for serious complications from COVID-19.
Since COVID-19 is such a fast-moving pandemic, rumors and misinformation sometimes from seemingly reliable sources are inevitable. It's best to rely on information from authoritative sources such as the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the World Health Organization (WHO). Below are some critical-thinking steps to help you sort out facts from fake news.