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Human coronaviruses are common and are typically associated with mild illnesses, like the common cold.
The new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is caused by a virus producing mild to severe respiratory infections. Currently, there are over 210 countries and territories reporting confirmed cases of COVID-19. Many are reporting community spread.
On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic. It is important that we prepare for the likelihood that the virus will spread further.
Like the flu, COVID-19 can spread from person to person
Human coronaviruses cause infections of the nose, throat and lungs. They are mostly spread from an infected person through:
- Cough, sneezing or talking, which can send respiratory droplets containing the virus.
- Sharing food, cups, glasses, dishes and cutlery.
- Close, personal contact.
- Touching something with the virus on it (e.g., doorknobs, cell phones, elevator buttons, light switches, taps, toilets, toys, remote controls), and then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands.
- In rare circumstances, they have found the virus in stool.