Frequent questions

Find answers to the most frequent questions.

Síntomas del coronavirus (COVID-19)

What is a new coronavirus?

A new coronavirus is a coronavirus that has not been previously identified. The virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019, COVID-19, is not the same as coronaviruses that commonly circulate among humans and cause mild illnesses, such as the common cold.

Why the disease is called COVID-19?

On February 11, 2020, the World Health Organization announced the official name of the disease causing the 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak and was first identified in Wuhan, China. The new name for the disease is coronavirus disease 2019, and its abbreviated form is COVID-19. In COVID-19, "CO" stands for "corona", "VI" for "virus" and "D" for "disease." Before, the way to refer to this disease was "new coronavirus 2019" or "2019-nCoV".
There are many types of human coronaviruses, including some that commonly cause mild upper respiratory illness. COVID-19 is a new disease, caused by a new coronavirus that has not been previously seen in humans.

If you or someone at home has COVID-19

Most people who contract COVID-19 will be able to recover at home. CDC provides guidance for those recovering at home and their caregivers, including:

  • Stay home if you are sick, except to seek medical attention.
  • Use a separate room and bathroom for household members who are sick (if possible).
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; After going to the bathroom, and before eating or preparing food.
  • If you don't have soap and water, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Always wash your hands with soap and water if they are visibly dirty.
  • Provide your sick family member with clean disposable masks to use at home, if available, to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 to others.
  • Clean the sick person's room and bathroom as needed to avoid unnecessary contact with the sick person.

However, some people may need emergency medical attention. Watch for symptoms and know when to seek emergency medical attention.

If you had contact with someone who has COVID-19

  • The best way to protect yourself and others is to stay home for 14 days if you think you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19. Check your local health department website for information about possible options in your area to reduce the quarantine period.
  • Watch for symptoms. Watch for fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19.
  • If possible, stay away from others, especially people who are at higher risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19.

What is the risk of my child getting COVID-19?

Children can be infected by the virus that causes COVID-19 and can get the disease. Most children with COVID-19 have mild symptoms or may not have any symptoms at all ("asymptomatic"). Compared to adults, fewer children were infected with COVID-19. However, children with certain underlying conditions and infants (less than 1 year-old) may be at higher risk of becoming seriously ill from COVID-19. Some children developed a rare serious illness that is associated with COVID-19, called multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C).