There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness 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 diseases, including:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Wear a face covering.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash immediately after use.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- 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.
For information about handwashing, see CDC’s Handwashing website.
For information specific to healthcare, see CDC’s Hand Hygiene in Healthcare Settings.
These are everyday habits that can help prevent the spread of several viruses. CDC does have specific guidance for travelers.
There is no specific antiviral treatment recommended for COVID-19. People with COVID-19 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 COVID-19 should contact their healthcare provider immediately.
See Interim Guidance for Healthcare Professionals for information on persons under investigation.
What to Do If you are sick with Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
If you develop a fever1 and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough or shortness of breath you should call ahead to a healthcare professional and mention your recent travel or close contacts2. Your healthcare professional will work with the state’s public health department and CDC to determine if you need to be tested for COVID-19.
1Fever may be subjective or confirmed
2Close contact is defined as—
- a) being within approximately 6 feet (2 meters) of a COVID-19 case for a prolonged period of time (greater than 15 minutes); close contact can occur while caring for, living with, visiting, or sharing a health care waiting area or room with a COVID-19 case
– or –
- b) having direct contact with infectious secretions of a COVID-19 case (e.g., being coughed on)
If such contact occurs while not wearing recommended personal protective equipment or PPE (e.g., gowns, gloves, face covering, eye protection), criteria for persons under investigation (PUI) consideration are met.
Data to inform the definition of close contact are limited. Considerations when assessing close contact include the duration of exposure (e.g., longer exposure time likely increases exposure risk) and the clinical symptoms of the person with COVID-19 (e.g., coughing likely increases exposure risk as does exposure to a severely ill patient). Special consideration should be given to those exposed in health care settings.