There are many viruses in the coronavirus family that can cause illness in both humans and animals. Several coronaviruses commonly circulate among people all of the time and cause mild to moderate illnesses, such as the common cold. Other coronaviruses commonly circulate only in animals. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can evolve and infect people and then spread between people as has been seen with MERS and SARS.
Many of the patients in the pneumonia outbreak caused by COVID-19 in Wuhan, China had some link to seafood and live animal market, suggesting animal-to-person spread. However, the person-to-person spread is now widely occurring.
Commonly reported symptoms of COVID-19 infection include:
- Shortness of breath
While the exact incubation period for this coronavirus has not yet been determined, it is believed that most infected people will develop symptoms 2-14 days after they were exposed.
Currently, there is no vaccine available for COVID-19. In general, people can protect themselves and others against respiratory viruses by taking the following precautions:
- Practice social distancing (within 6 feet) as much as possible.
- Cover your mouth and nose while coughing or sneezing. Everyone should wear a mask in public settings and when around people who do nott live in your household. The mask is not a substitute for social distancing.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Practice good health habits. Wash your hands frequently with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer or soap & water.
What to Do If You Are Sick
Stay home except to get medical care.
- Stay home. Most people with mild symptoms or asymptomatic and can recover at home without medical care. Do not leave your home, except to get medical care. Do not visit public areas. Separate yourself from others in the home. Be sure to get care if you have trouble breathing, or have any other emergency warning signs
- Take care of yourself. Get rest and stay hydrated. Take over-the-counter medicines, such as acetaminophen, to help you feel better.
- Stay in touch with your doctor. Call before you go if you think it is an emergency.
- Avoid public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis.
COVID-19 Vaccine Information
- December 10, 2020 – Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee Meeting
FDA Briefing Document Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine. To read the full document, please click here.
- December 15, 2020 – COVID-19 GUIDE: Background/Messaging on Vaccines, Vaccine Clinical Trials & Combatting Vaccine Misinformation
The AMA has developed comprehensive messaging resources to support efforts to communicate about the COVID-19 vaccine. We encourage you to leverage these tools to support ongoing efforts to communicate clearly and consistently about the importance of the COVID-19 vaccine to end the pandemic.
- December 21, 2020 – MedChi COVID-19 Vaccine FAQ’s
For more information, visit MedChi, The Maryland State Medical Society’s Public Health page on Vaccines.
- From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- Interim Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations for Patients with Confirmed Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) or Persons Under Investigation for COVID-19 in Healthcare Settings
- Latest HAN Update Summary
- Resource Center for Health Care Professionals
- Situation Summary
- From the World Health Organization (WHO)
- WHO Coronavirus Home which is updated on a rolling basis with technical guidelines on a rolling basis.
- From the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA)
- Guidance for diagnosis and treatment, updated on a rolling basis.
- Rockpointe Web course CME: Understanding and Addressing the Global Spread of the COVID-19 Infection: A Clinician’s Guide – This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of the Potomac Center for Medical Education and Rockpointe. The Potomac Center for Medical Education is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The Potomac Center for Medical Education designates this enduring material for a maximum of 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.
- Travel Guidance: Public health authorities have implemented travel procedures for travelers in and out of the United States.
- Guidance for travelers from the Hubei Province and other resources for returning travelers are available on the CDC Information for Travelers website.
- Guidance for people who recently traveled to other countries with community spread of COVID-19. Monitor The CDC Travel Health Notices webpage for important travel notifications.
Local Maryland Resources
- MedChi created handouts that physicians may use at their practices, to provide patients with information.
- Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)
- Maryland Department of Health’s (MDH)