Skip to main content

What You Should Know

Who is at Higher Risk?

People at Higher Risk for Severe Illness:

  • Older adults
  • People who have serious chronic medical conditions like:

    • Heart disease
    • Diabetes
    • Lung disease
    • Liver disease
    • Chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis
    • Severe obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 40 or higher)
  • People with Asthma
  • People with HIV
  • People who are immunocompromised

    • Many conditions can cause a person to be immunocompromised, including cancer treatment, smoking, bone marrow or organ transplantation, immune deficiencies, poorly controlled HIV or AIDS, and prolonged use of corticosteroids and other immune weakening medications

If you are at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19 because of your age or because you have a serious long-term health problem, it is extra important for you to take actions to reduce your risk of getting sick with the disease.


How COVID-19 Spreads

COVID-19 spreads when an infected person breathes out droplets and very small particles that contain the virus. These droplets and particles can be breathed in by other people or land on their eyes, noses, or mouth. In some circumstances, they may contaminate surfaces they touch. People who are closer than 6 feet from the infected person are most likely to get infected.

COVID-19 is spread in three main ways:

  • Breathing in air when close to an infected person who is exhaling small droplets and particles that contain the virus.
  • Having these small droplets and particles that contain virus land on the eyes, nose, or mouth, especially through splashes and sprays like a cough or sneeze.
  • Touching eyes, nose, or mouth with hands that have the virus on them.  

Symptoms

People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness.

Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

This list does not include all possible symptoms.

Protect Yourself and Others

Anyone infected with COVID-19 can spread it, even if they do NOT have symptoms.

To protect yourself against getting COVID-19 from inhalation:

To protect yourself against getting COVID-19 from splashes or sprays:

To protect yourself against getting COVID-19 from touching your eyes, nose, or mouth:

Learn more about what you can do to protect yourself and others and what you can do after you’ve been fully vaccinated.

(Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)  

Back to Top