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COVID-19 is a respiratory disease caused by a novel (new) coronavirus, which is thought to be spread through person-to-person contact. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in many different species of animals. The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough and shortness of breath. The virus is thought to spread via droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, or among people who are in close contact with one another.
Everyone should adhere to everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
- Stay home when you are sick
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing (If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.)
For more information about the causes, symptoms and treatment of the virus as well as the latest updates, go to the CDC website. Information and updates from the Florida Department of Health regarding COVID-19 also are available online.