More Frequently Asked Questions

What is the COVID-19 pandemic?

The 2019-2020 COVID-19 pandemic is an ongoing pandemic of coronavirus disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome.

What are the early signs of detection for COVID-19?

Early symptoms in most COVID-19 patients include fever, myalgia, cough and sore throat, which are common symptoms in other acute respiratory virus infections.

How long does it take for COVID-19 symptoms to start showing?

Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus.

What should I do in case I am developing symptoms of the COVID-19 disease?

If you have not had symptoms and you begin to feel feverish or develop measured fever, cough or difficulty breathing...immediately limit contact with others if you have not already done so.  Call your doctor or local health department to determine whether you need a medical evaluation.

Is a headache a symptom of COVID-19?

The virus can cause a range of symptoms...from a mild illness to pneumonia.  Symptoms of the disease are fever, cough, sore throat and headaches.

Can you have COVID-19 without a fever?

The signs and symptoms of COVID-19 present at illness onset vary, but over the course of the disease, most persons experience the following:

Fever (83-99%), Cough (59-82%), Fatigue (44-70%), Anorexia (40-84%), Shortness of breath (31-40%), Sputum production (28-33% and Myalgias (11-35%).  Atypical presentations have been described, and older adults and persons with medical comorbidities (the simultaneous presence of 2 chronic diseases or conditions in a patient) may have delayed presentation of fever and respiratory symptoms.

Are masks effective against COVID-19?

In light of new evidence, the CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain        (e.g., grocery stores, pharmacies, churches) especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.

What is the recovery time for COVID-19?

It may take 2 weeks for your body to get over the illness.  That's the average recovery time for mild cases, according to WHO.  For those with severe or critical cases, recovery can take up to 6 weeks.

Is bleach an effective cleaning agent for COVID-19?

Unexpired household bleach will be effective against COVID-19 when properly diluted.  Prepare a bleach solution by mixing 5 tablespoons (1/3 cup) bleach per gallon of water.  

Is there a vaccine for COVID-19?

There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19.  The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.  The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

Can you recover from COVID-19?

Most people with COVID-19 have mild illness and are able to recover at home without medical care.  Do not leave your home, except to get medical care.

Can children spread COVID-19 while playing?

If children meet in groups, it can put everyone at risk.  Children can pass this virus onto others who may be at higher risk, including older adults and people who have serious underlying medical conditions.

Can I stay at home if I have COVID-19?

Most people with COVID-19 have mild illness and can recover at home without medical care.  Do not leave your home, except to get medical care.  Do not visit public areas.

How serious is COVID-19?

Reported illnesses have ranged from mild to severe, including some cases that have resulted in death.  According to the World Health Organization, most people who become infected experience mild illness and recover, but there is a risk of severe illness, especially those with heart disease, lung disease and diabetes.

Can hot water kill the COVID-19 virus?

Taking a hot bath will not prevent you from catching COVID-19.  Your normal body temperature remains around 36.5°C to 37°C, regardless of the temperature of your bath or shower.

Can you get very sick from COVID-19?

For many people, being sick with COVID-19 would be a little bit like having the flu.  People can get a fever, cough or have a hard time taking deep breaths.  Most people who have gotten COVID-19 have not gotten very sick.  Only a small group of people who get it have had more serious conditions.

What antiviral drugs are available to treat COVID-19?

There are currently no antiviral drugs approved by the FDA to treat COVID-19. For information on specific clinical trials underway for treatment of patients with            COVID-19, visit

Is fever a symptom of COVID-19?

If you have a fever, cough or other symptoms, you might have COVID-19.  Most people have mild illness and are able to recover at home.  If you think you may have been exposed to COVID-19, contact your healthcare provider immediately.  Keep track of your symptoms.

Does cooking kill COVID-19?

Per WHO, heat at 56 degrees Celsius kill the SARS coronavirus at around 10,000 units per 15 minutes.

Can you contract COVID-19 from a package in the mail?

COVID-19 is thought to be spread most often by respiratory droplets.  Although the virus can survive for a short period on some surfaces, it is unlikely to be spread from domestic or international mail, products or packaging.

Can COVID-19 spread through food?

COVID-19 is generally thought to be spread from person to person through respiratory droplets.  Currently, there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with food.  Before preparing or eating food it is important to always wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds for general food safety.

Can COVID-19 spread through feces?

The virus that causes COVID-19 has been found in the feces of some patients diagnosed with COVID-19.  However, it is unclear whether the virus found in feces may be capable of causing COVID-19.  There has not been any confirmed report of the virus spreading from feces to a person.

How contagious is COVID-19.

It's unclear exactly how contagious COVID-19 is  Data has shown that it spreads from person to person among those in close contact (within about 6 feet).  The virus spreads by respiratory droplets released when someone with the virus coughs, sneezes or talks.

Does drinking alcohol kill COVID-19?

Drinking alcohol does not protect you against COVID-19 and can be dangerous.  Frequent or excessive alcohol consumption can increase your risk of health problems.

Does rubbing alcohol kill COVID-19?

Isopropyl alcohol or rubbing alcohol with at least 70 percent alcohol...undiluted...will kill COVID-19 on surfaces in about 30 seconds.

Can COVID-19 spread through water?

There's no evidence that the virus that causes COVID-19 can be spread through drinking water or use of pools or hot tubs, according to the CDC.

Am I immune to COVID-19 after I have recovered from the virus?

When you have immunity, your body can recognize and fight off the virus that causes COVID-19.  But it's possible that people who've had COVID-19 can get sick again...and maybe infect other people.  We don't have enough information yet to know which is the case.  But the national health organizations are doing research.

Is COVID-19 more severe than the flu?

COVID-19 causes more severe disease than the seasonal flu.  While many people globally have built up immunity to seasonal flu strains, COVID-19 is a new virus to which no one has immunity.  That means more people are susceptible to infection and some will suffer severe disease.  Globally, about 3.4% or reported COVID-19 cases have died.  By comparison, seasonal flu generally kills far fewer that 1% of those infected.

Who is at risk for COVID-19?

The virus that causes COVID-19 infects people of all ages.  However, evidence to date suggests that two groups of people are at a higher risk of getting severe COVID-19 disease.  These are older people (that is people over 60 years old); and those with underlying medical conditions (such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease and cancer).  The risk of severe disease gradually increases with age starting from around 40 years.  It's important that adults in this age range protect themselves and in turn protect others that may be more vulnerable.  WHO has issued advice for these two groups and for community support to ensure that they are protected from COVID-19 without being isolated, stigmatized, left in a porsition of increased vulnerability or unable to access basic provisions and social care.

Does heat kill COVID-19?

Heat at 56° kills SARS coronavirus at around 10000 units 15 min.

Can I go to the grocery store during COVID-19?

The safest is to order online and use curbside pick-up for getting groceries and other items.  Also home delivery works well too. Only visit a grocery store or other stores in person when absolutely necessary.  This will limit your potential for exposure to others and the COVID-19 virus.  But while shopping, protect yourself by staying at least 6 feet away from others while shopping and in lines.  Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face covering when you have to go out in public.  When you do have to visit in person, go during hours when fewer people will be there (for example, early morning or late at night).