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Coronavirus Disease 2019, or COVID-19, is the disease caused by the respiratory virus SARS-CoV-2.
The virus spreads mainly from person to person, when an infected person breathes out droplets and very small particles that contain the virus. These droplets and particles can be breathed in by other people or land on their eyes, noses, or mouth. People who are closer than 6 feet from the infected person are most likely to get infected.
It may also be possible for a person to be infected with COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or eyes.
People diagnosed with COVID-19 have reported mild to severe respiratory illness 2 to 14 days after exposure. Symptoms include:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
There are steps you can take to protect yourself and others from being infected with COVID-19, including receiving a safe and effective vaccine. Vaccines for COVID-19 are available to everyone 12 years of age and over.