COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by a novel respiratory coronavirus. COVID-19 poses a serious public health risk and is highly contagious. On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the situation a pandemic. The virus causing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is not the same as the coronaviruses that commonly circulate among humans and cause mild illness, like the common cold.
Although most people who have COVID-19 have mild symptoms, COVID-19 can also cause severe illness and even death. Some groups, including older adults and people who have certain underlying medical conditions, are at increased risk of severe illness.
COVID-19 vs Influenza
COVID-19 seems to spread more easily than flu and causes more serious illnesses in some people. It can also take longer before people show symptoms and people can be contagious for longer.
Because some of the symptoms of flu and COVID-19 are similar, it may be hard to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone, and testing may be needed to help confirm a diagnosis.
For more information on COVID-19, please visit the CDC's website.