Posted by: brr0603 | February 24, 2020

COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

COVID-19 (novel Coronavirus) photo from the CDC

Eckert, A.., Higgins, D., & Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2020). Image ID 23311, Retrieved 02/21/2020, from:

Background: COVID-19 is a new type of coronavirus discovered in Wuhan, China on December 31, 2019. The World Health Organization officially named the disease, COVID-19, on February 11, 2020.

  • What does COVID-19 stand for: “Co” stands for “corona”, “vi” for “virus”,  “d” for “disease”, and “19” for the year (2019) the outbreak was first discovered.

What is COVID-19:  COVID-19 is a type of coronavirus.  Coronaviruses are named after this type of virus’s appearance.  Coronaviruses are common in many different animals.  Coronaviruses can sometimes be spread to humans. The SARS and MERS outbreaks are other types of coronaviruses that had similar symptoms to COVID-19.  Symptoms can include fever, cough, and shortness of breath.

Should I be worried: The COVID-19 outbreak in the United States has been limited. There are no confirmed cases in North Carolina. Those living or visiting China, or those who have been in close contact with someone who is infected, are at greatest risk.

Steps to keep healthy: There are no current vaccines to prevent human coronavirus infections.  Here are some steps to prevent the spread of any illness, including COVID-19:

  1. Wash your hands
  2. Avoid close contact with those who are sick
  3. Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue
  4. Stay home when you are sick
  5. Get the vaccine when available

What should I do if I think I may be infected: If you have traveled to China recently and have been having breathing problems, or if you have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, you should call your doctor to discuss next steps.


Written by Grace Pelak, Graduate Research Assistant | Health Sciences Library and MPH Candidate 2021 | Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina







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