COVID-19: Your questions, answered


Many people are looking for information regarding the coronavirus outbreak. ABC27’s Amanda Peterson reached out to Geisinger Holy Spirit to get some of those questions, answered.

Is there more than one strain of Coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a large family of diverse, common viruses that can cause illnesses ranging from a common cold to a severe lower respiratory tract infection, like pneumonia. The novel (new) coronavirus you’ve been hearing about, which originated in Wuhan, China, results in an illness called COVID-19.

COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that usually includes not only an upper respiratory tract infection, but also a lower respiratory tract infection, which can lead to pneumonia and breathing issues.

If a person contracts the virus, what is the timetable for them to show symptoms?

COVID-19 symptoms can appear as early as two days and as late as 14 days after exposure. Symptoms are similar to a cold or flu with fever, cough and shortness of breath, and can last up to 14 days.

How long are patients sick once the first symptoms appear?

Symptoms can last up to 14 days.

How does a person know the difference between other viruses, allergies and COVID-19?

Symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to a cold or flu. People who have symptoms including fever, cough or shortness of breath should call their doctor to determine the type of care they should seek.

In the U.S., are we seeing this virus hit certain demographics? Who is most at risk?

So far, those with certain underlying health conditions and who are over age 60 are at a higher risk of infection and related complications.

In the U.S., are most cases severe? Requiring hospitalizations or resulting in death?

Most people with COVID-19 will have minimal symptoms and will fully recover.

Do you have additional questions about COVID-19? ABC27 is holding a special report on COVID-19 Wednesday evening at 7:30 p.m.

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