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.
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.
The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.
These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
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.
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.
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*:
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.
Wear your Mask Correctly
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:
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.
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:
During your trip, take steps to protect yourself and others from COVID-19:
Traveling Abroad? Check CDC’s COVID-19 Travel Recommendations by Destination before planning your trip.
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
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.
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:
The Nebraska Department of Education has a Launch Nebraska website that will provide guidance on districts returning to in-person instruction.
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.
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.