Viruses are not independent organisms. They cannot survive outside of a host for lengthy periods because viruses require the components of a cell to survive. In broad strokes, once a virus enters a host, it invades cells, replicates and then spreads to other cells. Sometimes, a virus can live within a host without causing illness to its host. Other times, the presence of a virus triggers the defense mechanisms available within the host.
Coronaviruses are so-called because under a microscope, crown-like projections emanate from the cell infected with the virus. When infected with a coronavirus, humans respond with symptoms akin to those seen with the common cold.
In late 2019, somewhere within the Wuhan province of China, this strain of coronavirus (COVID-19) that had not before been identified in a human host (which is why some refer to it as “novel”) moved from an animal host to a human host. Scientists determined that the strain of coronavirus causing illness had jumped from an animal host to human hosts based upon the organic structure of the virus.
With data stretching back to December 2019, scientists and medical professionals have drawn a few conclusions about COVID-19, in addition to making a few decisions related to prophylaxis and treatment of this virus. Here is what you need to know
What You Kneed to Know
What are the signs and symptoms of COVID-19?
How is it transmitted?
What population is most affected?
How should I proceed when I am in public?
Do I need to wear a mask?
What should I do if I think I have fallen ill?
Is there a drive-through testing location near me?
Before you seek testing, make sure to review the website for the provider and ensure you meet the criteria and/or have the necessary documentation to undergo testing at these sites.
If your state is not listed, continue to check the Department of Health website for your state for updated information about testing. Every state's Department of Health website can be found at this link:
Certain states may refer you to your county website for additional information.
Guidelines and recommendations about managing COVID-19 are available at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov.