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Coronavirus (COVID-19)

This guide provides resources regarding the COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease. More content will be added as information and resources become available.

Definitions

Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.  

Coronaviruses are zoonotic, meaning they are transmitted between animals and people.  Detailed investigations found that SARS-CoV was transmitted from civet cats to humans and MERS-CoV from dromedary camels to humans. Several known coronaviruses are circulating in animals that have not yet infected humans. 

New Coronavirus Disease Officially Named COVID-19 by The World Health Organization

The new coronavirus disease that was first identified in Wuhan has received an official name from the World Health Organization:  "COVID-19."

"COVI" comes from coronavirus. The "D" stands for disease. The 19 represents 2019, the year the virus was first identified, in December.

The name will apply for the "entire spectrum" of cases, from mild to severe, according to a WHO spokesperson.

World Health Organization

Additional Information

Current understanding about how the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) spreads is largely based on what is known about similar coronaviruses. COVID-19 is a new disease and there is more to learn about how it spreads, the severity of illness it causes, and to what extent it may spread in the United States.

Person-to-person spread

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

Spread from contact with infected surfaces or objects

It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

Can someone spread the virus without being sick?

  • People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest).
  • Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms; there have been reports of this occurring with this new coronavirus, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

How easily does the virus spread?

How easily a virus spreads from person-to-person can vary. Some viruses are highly contagious (spread easily), like measles, while other viruses do not spread as easily. Another factor is whether the spread is sustained.

The virus that causes COVID-19 seems to be spreading easily and sustainably in the community (“community spread”) in some affected geographic areas. Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected.

Older adults and people who have severe underlying medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death for confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases.

Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure*:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

Call your healthcare professional if you develop symptoms, and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or if you have recently traveled from an area with widespread or ongoing community spread of COVID-19.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Cover your mouth and nose with a mask when around others.

  • Masks help prevent you from getting or spreading the virus.
  • You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick.
  • Everyone should wear a mask in public settings and when around people who don’t live in your household, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
    • Masks should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
  • Do NOT use a mask meant for a healthcare worker. Currently, surgical masks and N95 respirators are critical supplies that should be reserved for healthcare workers and other first responders.
  • Continue to keep about 6 feet between yourself and others. The mask is not a substitute for social distancing.

CDC

Wear your Mask Correctly

  • Wash your hands before putting on your mask
  • Put it over your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin
  • Try to fit it snugly against the sides of your face
  • Make sure you can breathe easily
  • CDC does not recommend use of masks or cloth masks for source control if they have an exhalation valve or vent

fitting a cloth facemask to your face. The mask should cover from below your chin to above your nose, and be pinched to fit the bridge of your nose snugly.

CDC

There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

There is no specific antiviral treatment recommended for 2019-nCoV infection. People infected with 2019-nCoV should receive supportive care to help relieve symptoms. For severe cases, treatment should include care to support vital organ functions.

People who think they may have been exposed to 2019-nCoV should contact your healthcare provider immediately.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Data sources: WHO, CDC, ECDC

                          

Travel increases your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19. Staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.

You can get COVID-19 during your travels. You may feel well and not have any symptoms, but you can still spread COVID-19 to others. You and your travel companions (including children) may spread COVID-19 to other people including your family, friends, and community for 14 days after you were exposed to the virus.

Don’t travel if you are sick or if you have been around someone with COVID-19 in the past 14 days. Don’t travel with someone who is sick.

Before you travel, consider the following:

  • Is COVID-19 spreading at your destination?
    The more cases at your destination, the more likely you are to get infected during travel and spread the virus to others when you return.
  • Do you live with someone who might be more likely to get very ill from COVID-19?
    If you get infected while traveling, you can spread the virus to loved ones when you return, even if you don’t have symptoms.
  • Are you more likely to get very ill from COVID-19? 
    Anyone can get very ill from the virus that causes COVID-19, but older adults and people of any age with certain underlying medical conditions are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
  • Does your destination have requirements or restrictions for travelers?
    Some state, local, and territorial governments have requirements, such as requiring people to wear masks and requiring those who recently traveled to stay home for up to 14 days. Check state, territorial, tribal and local public health websites for information before you travel. If you are traveling internationally, check the destination’s Office of Foreign Affairs or Ministry of Health or the US Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs, Country Information  for details about entry requirements and restrictions for arriving travelers, such as mandatory testing or quarantine.

    If You Travel

    During your trip, take steps to protect yourself and others from COVID-19:

  • Wear a mask to keep your nose and mouth covered when in public settings.
  • Avoid close contact by staying at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) from anyone who is not from your household.
  • Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer (with at least 60% alcohol).
  • Avoid contact with anyone who is sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

Traveling Abroad? Check CDC’s COVID-19 Travel Recommendations by Destination before planning your trip.

Centers for Disease Control

Updated April 14, 2021

The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services and its partners continue to track the unfolding outbreak of respiratory illness caused by the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and anticipate its impact on Nebraska and its health care system. 

Nebraska Case Information

  • Total number of positive cases – 215,074
  • Cases that tested negative – 806,037
  1. All returning travelers, from any international or domestic location, should assume that COVID-19 disease is present at the locations they have visited and traveled through.
  2. All returning travelers, from any international or domestic location, should limit public interactions, practice strict social distancing, and self-monitor for symptoms.

Deaths 

According to DHHS, there have been 2,337 deaths in Nebraska related to COVID-19. 

Covid-19 spreads mainly through close contact from person to person. The virus travels through the droplets a person produces when talking or coughing, An individual does not need to feel sick or show symptoms to spread the submicroscopic virus. Close contact means within about six feet

Community transmission of COVID-19 has been identified in several areas of the state. Community transmission is when people have COVID-19 but public health officials are unable to identify how or where they became infected.

Department of Health and Human Services

 

 

 

As some communities in the United States open K-12 schools, CDC offers the following considerations for ways in which schools can help protect students, teachers, administrators, and staff and slow the spread of COVID-19. Schools can determine, in collaboration with state and local health officials to the extent possible, whether and how to implement these considerations while adjusting to meet the unique needs and circumstances of the local community. Implementation should be guided by what is feasible, practical, acceptable, and tailored to the needs of each community. School-based health facilities may refer to CDC’s Guidance for U.S. Healthcare Facilities and may find it helpful to reference the Ten Ways Healthcare Systems Can Operate Effectively During the COVID-19 Pandemic. These considerations are meant to supplement—not replace—any state, local, territorial, or tribal health and safety laws, rules, and regulations with which schools must comply.

Preparing for a Safe Return to School: The latest science on transmission risk, and the costs and benefits of opening schools

The more people a student or staff member interacts with, and the longer that interaction, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spread. The risk of COVID-19 spread increases in school settings as follows:

  • Lowest Risk: Students and teachers engage in virtual-only classes, activities, and events.
  • More Risk: Small, in-person classes, activities, and events. Groups of students stay together and with the same teacher throughout/across school days and groups do not mix. Students remain at least 6 feet apart and do not share objects (e.g., hybrid virtual and in-person class structures, or staggered/rotated scheduling to accommodate smaller class sizes).
  • Highest Risk: Full sized, in-person classes, activities, and events. Students are not spaced apart, share classroom materials or supplies, and mix between classes and activities.

Centers for Disease Control

 

The Nebraska Department of Education has a Launch Nebraska website that will provide guidance on districts returning to in-person instruction.

Launch Nebraska

What does it mean to be a Coronavirus "Long-Hauler"?

"Long-haulers" are people who experience symptoms weeks or even months after having the virus.

According to one report, most people fall into one of two groups when it comes to the virus. Approximately 80% of those with COVID-19 end up having a mild response and most of those cases resolve in about two weeks. For people who have a severe response to the virus, it can take between three and six weeks to recover.

But now, there is growing concern over a separate group who don’t seem to fall into either of those categories. A number of people are now reporting lingering symptoms of the illness for one, two or even three months. This new group is mixed with those who experienced both mild and severe cases. As health experts step in to try to manage these patients and learn more, many are referring to this group as coronavirus “long-haulers” or “long-termers.”

Long-lasting symptoms are fairly similar to what people experience in the acute phase of the illness, but typically not as severe. It often includes: coughing, tightness in the chest, shortness of breath and diarrhea. But perhaps the most significant symptom that is being seen across the board in coronavirus long-haulers is fatigue. Often times this group feels very run down and tired. They can’t exert themselves or exercise and simple tasks (like walking to the mailbox) will often leave them feeling exhausted. Chronic fatigue like we’re seeing in this group can be incredibly debilitating and frustrating.

Typically after having an active infection like COVID-19, the contagiousness goes away after a few weeks and you start to recover. We less commonly see persistent fevers in this group, which hints that they probably aren’t infectious months later, but it can vary. Long-haulers should work with their doctor to determine a treatment plan and monitoring program so that they can receive patient-specific advice about isolation, how they can interact with their contacts and how to manage their symptoms.

Most health systems are starting to form monitoring programs for these patients. There is a lot of collaboration and research happening as more data is collected and we start to piece together the long-term effects of COVID-19 on the body. Most programs are geared towards managing acute symptoms and provides patients with resources and support. Many long-haulers aren’t admitted, so specialists from primary care, pulmonology, infectious disease and even mental health touch base with these patients periodically (depending on the patient’s medical history and the severity of the long-lasting symptoms). The team is there to identify symptoms that worsen and get them to the right level of care. We’re also seeing that depression and anxiety are big issues for these long-haulers, so checking in to see how they’re doing is another important aspect in the monitoring program.

Cleveland Clinic Health Library

 

Now that there is an authorized and recommended vaccine to prevent COVID-19 in the United States, here are 8 things you need to know about the new COVID-19 Vaccination Program and COVID-19 vaccines.

1. The safety of COVID-19 vaccines is a top priority.

2. COVID-19 vaccination will help protect you from getting COVID-19. Two doses are needed.

3. Right now, CDC recommends COVID-19 vaccine be offered to healthcare personnel and residents of long-term care facilities.

4. There is currently a limited supply of COVID-19 vaccine in the United States, but supply will increase in the weeks and months to come.

5. After COVID-19 vaccination, you may have some side effects. This is a normal sign that your body is building protection.

6. Cost is not an obstacle to getting vaccinated against COVID-19.

7. The first COVID-19 vaccine is being used under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Many other vaccines are still being developed and tested.

8. COVID-19 vaccines are one of many important tools to help us stop this pandemic.

CDC

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