What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is a respiratory disease that is caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2. Many people who are infected have mild symptoms or even no symptoms, but COVID-19 can also cause severe illness and death. Some people, including those who got no symptoms at first, get health problems that last for weeks or months.
Shortness of breath
Symptoms of COVID-19 may include one or more of the following: fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath or trouble breathing, feeling tired, muscle or body aches, headache, sore throat, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, stuffy or runny nose, or new loss of taste or smell. This list of symptoms is not all inclusive. Some people with COVID-19 infection never get symptoms.
How It Spreads
The virus spreads when a person with COVID-19 releases respiratory droplets into the air for example, when speaking, singing, coughing, shouting, or exercising. These droplets are then breathed in by other people or land on their nose, mouth, or eyes. The virus also spreads by touching a surface with droplets on it and then touching your eyes, nose, or mouth but this is less common.
There are certain places where COVID-19 spreads more easily:
- Closed spaces with poor airflow
- Crowded places with many people nearby
- Close contact settings especially where people are talking (or breathing heavily) close together
Contact tracing is a simple, confidential process that has been used by public health departments for decades to slow the spread of infectious diseases and avoid outbreaks. You can do your part by answering a few simple questions when Public Health calls.
What If I'm Sick?
What If I have COVID-19?
Clinical and Vaccine Trial Information
Help Stop the Spread of
Protect Yourself and Others
If you have questions and would like to speak to someone, or need help finding medical care, call the Los Angeles County Information line 2-1-1, which is available 24/7.
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Public Health has made reasonable efforts to provide accurate translation. However, no computerized translation is perfect and is not intended to replace traditional translation methods. If questions arise concerning the accuracy of the information, please refer to the English edition of the website, which is the official version.