What's the difference between the coronavirus disease and COVID-19?

May 14, 2020

While coronaviruses are common, coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new strain of coronavirus that had previously not been identified in humans. The key features of COVID-19 are respiratory symptoms with a fever and cough.

What is the official name of the coronavirus disease?

ICTV announced "severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)" as the name of the new virus on 11 February 2020.

What is the treatment for the coronavirus disease according to the CDC?

There is no specific antiviral treatment recommended for COVID-19. People with COVID-19 should receive supportive care to help relieve symptoms. For severe cases, treatment should include care to support vital organ functions.

What happens if I get the coronavirus disease?

People with COVID-19 generally develop signs and symptoms, including mild respiratory symptoms and fever, on an average of 5-6 days after infection (mean incubation period 5-6 days, range 1-14 days). Most people infected with COVID-19 virus have mild disease and recover.

Who should be tested for the coronavirus disease?

Your doctor will determine if you have signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and whether you should be tested. In the early stages of infection, it is possible the virus will not be detected. For COVID-19, a negative test result for a sample collected while a person has symptoms likely means that the COVID-19 virus is not causing their current illness.

What's the CDC definition of 'close contact' for the coronavirus disease?

Close contacts were defined as having close (within 6.6 ft [2 m]) and prolonged (generally ≥30 minutes) contact with the COVID-19 patient. Contacts at lower risk were persons who had some interactions with the COVID-19 patient for shorter periods of time.

Can children pass on the coronavirus disease?

Children with COVID-19 may only have mild symptoms, but they can still pass this virus onto others who may be at higher risk, including older adults and people who have serious underlying medical conditions.

What vaccines are available for the coronavirus disease and influenza?

While there are a number of therapeutics currently in clinical trials in China and more than 20 vaccines in development for COVID-19, there are currently no licensed vaccines or therapeutics for COVID-19. In contrast, antivirals and vaccines available for influenza. While the influenza vaccine is not effective against COVID-19 virus, it is highly recommended to get vaccinated each year to prevent influenza infection.