What is COVID‑19?
COVID‑19 is the new respiratory disease spreading around the world and it is caused by a coronavirus. COVID‑19 is short for “coronavirus disease 2019.”
The virus is thought to spread mainly between people who are in close contact with one another (about 6 feet) and through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
People are most contagious when they are the sickest. But those who don’t have a lot of symptoms can still pass the virus on to others.
There is currently no vaccine or cure for COVID‑19 but researchers are working to find one.
What are COVID‑19’s symptoms?
The most common symptoms are very similar to other viruses: fever, cough, and difficulty breathing.
Common symptoms of COVID‑19 are changing as more is learned about the disease. For the most up to date symptom list, visit the CDC’s website.
Symptoms may appear 2 to 14 days after exposure and range from mild to severe illness.
If you or someone you know has symptoms, our Screening Tool will recommend best next steps.
Who is at high risk for COVID‑19?
Everyone is at risk of getting COVID‑19, but some people are at a higher risk of serious illness.
Generally speaking, adults aged 65 and older and people of any age who have underlying medical conditions may be at higher risk for serious illness from COVID‑19.
The most up-to-date way to assess your risk is to complete our Screening Tool.
What about COVID‑19, pregnancy, and newborns?
At this time, pregnant women reportedly have the same COVID‑19 risk as adults who are not pregnant. There is also no clear evidence that a fetus can be infected with COVID‑19 in the womb.
Pregnant women are known to have a higher risk of severe illness when infected with viruses from the same family as COVID‑19 and other viral respiratory infections. This is why pregnant women should take extra precautions to not get COVID‑19. Avoid those who have or who have been exposed to COVID‑19. Wash your hands often. Practice physical distancing. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily
During this time, it’s normal for care providers to change some prenatal visits to telemedicine.
Ask if your delivering hospital has changed any rules, like if you’ll be asked to wear a face covering while giving birth or if there is a new visitor policy.
Most babies born to people with COVID‑19 are not affected. However, once the baby is born, it is at risk for infection. New parents should take the same precautions to protect themselves from illness as pregnant women.
So far, COVID‑19 has not been detected in breast milk. If you are sick, including with COVID‑19, wear a cloth face covering and wash your hands before each feeding. If pumping milk, do not share your pump with anyone else. Wash your hands before expressing milk or before touching the pump or bottle parts. Follow recommendations for cleaning the pump and parts after each use. If possible, have someone who is not sick feed the baby.
Stay in touch with your care team if you feel sick or develop COVID‑19 symptoms.
Pregnancy and postpartum can be stressful, and COVID‑19 can add to feelings of uncertainty, stress, anxiety, or depression. Talk with your care provider if you are feeling overwhelmed. Seek help if you are in crisis and feel like you may harm yourself or your baby.
When should I see a doctor?
Knowing when to see a doctor can keep medical care available for those who need it most.
Most mild symptoms can be treated at home. The most up-to-date way to assess your best next steps is to complete our Screening Tool.
If you need to see your doctor, call the office before you go. Many physicians’ offices are doing virtual visits. They will tell you what to do based on your location.
Testing is limited-availability across the country and is currently being prioritized for healthcare workers, emergency medical service providers, police, and other essential workers, so please consult your doctor for availability in your local area.
If you develop emergency warning signs, call emergency services. Emergency warning signs include: severe, constant chest pain or pressure; extreme difficulty breathing; severe, constant lightheadedness; or serious disorientation or unresponsiveness.