How You Can Help Prevent the Spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently with soap and water. Between hand-washings, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

If you sneeze or cough, cover your nose and mouth with your bent elbow or a tissue. Dispose of the tissue immediately and then sanitize or wash your hands well.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth to prevent germs from being transferred from your hands.

Stay home if you are not feeling well. If you have a cough, fever, and/or trouble breathing, seek medical attention early and call the facility before you arrive.

When possible, keep at least a 3-foot distance between you and anyone who is sneezing or coughing.

Regularly wipe down shared surfaces with disinfectant before use.

How To Tell the Difference Between Respiratory Illnesses

COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus)

The following symptoms may appear 2–14 days* after exposure:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

If you develop any of the following emergency warning signs,** get medical attention immediately:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion or inability to arouse
  • Bluish lips or face


The following symptoms may appear 1–4 days after exposure:

  • Fever*** or feeling feverish/chills
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue (tiredness)
  • Some people may have vomiting and/or diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults

Common Cold (Non-Novel Coronavirus)

The following symptoms may appear 1–3 days after exposure:

  • Sneezing
  • Stuffy nose
  • Sore throat
  • Mild to moderate chest discomfort and cough
  • Rare fever


The following symptoms may appear as soon as someone is exposed to allergies:

  • Sneezing
  • Sniffling
  • Itchy, watery eyes
  • Runny or stuffy nose

*This is based on what has been seen previously as the incubation period of MERS-CoV viruses.

**This list is not all-inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.

***It’s important to not that not everyone with the flu will have a fever.


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