Coronavirus Q&A

Coronavirus Q&A

The Washington State Department of Health has set up a call center to respond to public questions on the 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19).

People who have questions about what is happening in Washington, how the virus is spread, and what to do if you have symptoms, can call 1-800-525-0127 and press #.

The Department of Health has also prepared answers to frequently asked questions on COVID-19.

How is coronavirus spread?

Human coronaviruses most commonly spread from an infected person to others through:

• The air by coughing and sneezing;

• Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands;

• Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing your hands; and

• Rarely, fecal contamination with coronavirus present.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms of coronavirus are similar to flu or colds and may include: runny nose, headache, cough, sore throat, fever, and a general feeling of being unwell.

If you have traveled to/from Wuhan City, China, and have these symptoms, contact a health care provider.

How can people protect themselves?

There are steps people should take to reduce their risk of getting and spreading any viral respiratory infections. These include:

• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol if soap and water are not available.

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.

• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

• Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands.

• Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces.

• Stay at home and away from others if you are feeling ill.

What is the treatment?

There are no specific treatments for illnesses caused by human coronaviruses. Most people with common human coronavirus illness will recover on their own.

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