Background on the novel coronavirus:
The novel coronavirus was first detected in December 2019 in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. On Feb. 11, 2020, the World Health Organization named the disease coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses and are common in animals including camels, cattle, cats and bats. They are zoonotic, meaning they can be transmitted between animals and people. These animal coronaviruses can evolve into a new human coronavirus and infect people and then spread from person-to-person such as with MERS and SARS.
Watch for symptoms: People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness and death.
Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
When to Seek Medical Attention: If you develop any of these emergency warning signs* for COVID-19 get medical attention immediately:
- Trouble breathing
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- New confusion
- Inability to wake or stay awake
- Bluish lips or face
*This list is not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you. Call 911 if you have a medical emergency: Notify the operator that you have, or think you might have, COVID-19. If possible, put on a cloth face covering before medical help arrives.
How is it spread?
- Through coughing and sneezing
- Close personal contact, such as touching, shaking hands or caring for an infected person
- Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands
There is no specific treatment for illness caused by the novel coronavirus. However, many of the symptoms can be treated. Treatment will be based on the patient's condition. There is no vaccine for novel coronavirus.
Older adults (65 years and older)
- Early data suggest older adults are twice as likely to have serious COVID-19 illness. This may be because immune systems change with age, making it harder to fight off diseases and infection. Older adults also are more likely to have underlying health conditions that make it harder to cope with and recover from illness.
Individuals with certain underlying medical conditions
- People of any age with the following conditions are at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19:
- Chronic kidney disease
- COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
- Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant
- Obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 30 or higher)
- Serious heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies
- Sickle cell disease
- Type 2 diabetes mellitus
- Based on available information at this time, people with the following conditions might be at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19:
- Asthma (moderate-to-severe)
- Cerebrovascular disease (affects blood vessels and blood supply to the brain)
- Cystic fibrosis
- Hypertension or high blood pressure
- Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from blood or bone marrow transplant, immune deficiencies, HIV, use of corticosteroids, or use of other immune weakening medicines
- Neurologic conditions, such as dementia
- Liver disease
- Pulmonary fibrosis (having damaged or scarred lung tissues)
- Thalassemia (a type of blood disorder)
- Type 1 diabetes mellitus
As new information becomes available, the CDC will update its website here.
Recommendations for Businesses and Community-Based Organizations:
For essential businesses that remain open during the Safer at Home order, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health is asking you to prepare plans that allow people to stay home if they are sick (even mildly) without the risk of being financially penalized. This includes the option to work from home remotely, where possible. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health is requesting essential businesses do the following:
- Make sure you are using a robust, regular cleaning and disinfection schedule for frequently touched surfaces
- Ensure that your continuity of operations (COOP) plans are up to date, so their essential functions can continue
- Not require a doctor’s note for staff returning to work after being sick, when possible. This will reduce the strain on the healthcare system.
The Safer at Home Order from April 10 now requires essential businesses to implement a Social Distancing Protocol, which includes a requirement to provide all of their employees whose duties require contact with other employees and/or the public with a cloth face covering to wear while performing duties that involve contact with others.
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For more information on COVID-19, visit:
Centers for Disease Control & Prevention
California COVID-19 Response - covid19.ca.gov
California Department of Public Health
Los Angeles County COVID-19 Response - covid19.lacounty.gov
Los Angeles County Department of Public Health
World Health Organization