COVID-19 is a disease caused by a virus. Scientists first identified this virus in December 2019. From January 2020 until May 2023, COVID-19 was a federal public health emergency in the United States.
The best way to protect yourself from COVID-19 is to stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines. Depending on local COVID-19 levels and other risk factors, you may choose to take additional precautions, like wearing a mask and improving ventilation in your home and workplace.
COVID-19 can be transmitted from person to person through the air. Symptoms of COVID-19 may include cough, runny nose, sore throat, tiredness, body aches, fever, chills, and new loss of taste or smell. Symptoms may appear two to 14 days after exposure to the virus. Some people infected with the virus don’t have any symptoms.
Anyone who has symptoms of COVID-19 or tests positive should isolate and ask a health care provider about COVID-19 medicine. People who have been exposed to COVID-19 should take precautions, like wearing a mask around others, for 10 days.
Most people with COVID-19 have mild illness and recover in a few weeks. But some people get very sick, and some die from the disease. Some people are sick from COVID-19 for a long time.
Learn more about COVID-19 at the links below. Find easy to read COVID-19 materials from CDC.