The USM will share additional information on this web page as it becomes available. For the latest developments in Maryland, residents should visit the Maryland Department of Health website at coronavirus.maryland.gov.
What is novel coronavirus? Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in many different species of animals. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can infect people and then spread between people such as with MERS-CoV, SARS-CoV, and now with this novel (new) coronavirus, which was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. The virus has been named “SARS-CoV-2” and the disease it causes has been named “coronavirus disease 2019” (abbreviated “COVID-19”). Source: CDC
How does coronavirus spread? The virus is thought to be transmitted from person-to-person in close contact (about 6 feet). The virus may be spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes and produces respiratory droplets that infect a nearby person. People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic; however, some spread might be possible before people show symptoms. Source: CDC
What are the symptoms? The symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Source: CDC
What should you do if you have symptoms? If you are experiencing symptoms, you should contact your medical provider or your university health center, if applicable.
How can you protect yourself? At this time, there is no vaccine that prevents COVID-19 infection. You can reduce your risk of contracting respiratory viruses, including COVID-19, by taking the following precautions:
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Cover your mouth and nose while coughing or sneezing.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Talk to your medical provider about getting an influenza vaccine. While the influenza vaccine does not protect against coronavirus infection, it can help keep you healthy during the flu season. Flu activity has been high in the United States this year. Currently, your risk of getting the flu is much greater than your risk of contracting COVID-19.
Source: Maryland Health Department