How severe is the coronavirus disease?

April 26, 2020

Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.

What is the risk of my child becoming sick with the coronavirus disease?

Based on available evidence, children do not appear to be at higher risk for COVID-19 than adults. While some children and infants have been sick with COVID-19, adults make up most of the known cases to date.

What should you do if you have the coronavirus?

See full answer Stay home: 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. Do not visit public areas. Stay in touch with your doctor. Call before you get medical care. Be sure to get care if you have trouble breathing, or have any other emergency warning signs, or if you think it is an emergency. Avoid public transportation: Avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis. Stay away from others: As much as possible, stay away from others. You should stay in a specific "sick room" if possible, and away from other people in your home. Use a separate bathroom, if available.

Are there any special cleaning protocols or recommendations for the coronavirus disease?

No. Standard cleaning with common household disinfectants (such as Clorox wipes) should be sufficient. As is recommended each year during cold and flu season, be sure to clean high touch areas (e.g. doorknobs, telephones, remote controls, and bathroom surfaces) regularly.

Can the coronavirus be treated with antibiotics?

No, antibiotics do not work against viruses, only bacteria. The new coronavirus (COVID19) is a virus and, therefore, antibiotics should not be used as a means of prevention or treatment. However, if you are hospitalized for COVID19 you may receive antibiotics because bacterial co-infection is possible.

Are the symptoms of the coronavirus disease different in children than in adults?

The symptoms of COVID-19 are similar in children and adults. However, children with confirmed COVID-19 have generally presented with mild symptoms. Reported symptoms in children include cold-like symptoms, such as fever, runny nose, and cough. Vomiting and diarrhea have also been reported.

Can I get sick from consuming food if the coronavirus was present on it?

Currently there is no evidence of food or food packaging being associated with transmission of COVID-19. Like other viruses, it is possible that the virus that causes COVID-19 can survive on surfaces or objects. The four key steps to food safety are always recommended – clean, separate, cook, and chill.