Coronavirus, a Brief Primer

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), coronavirus belongs to a family that includes the common cold. However, the strain, identified as COVID-19, is not the same as the coronaviruses that commonly circulate among humans and cause mild illnesses. COVID-19 is related to strains that have caused serious outbreaks in recent years, including severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). The first case of COVID-19 in the U.S. was confirmed Jan. 21. There are, as yet, no vaccine against COVID-19 and no antiviral treatment.

According to CDC, the best way to prevent the disease is to avoid close contact with people who are sick, to avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands, to wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and to use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol, if soap and water are not available.