Coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19 differs from the coronaviruses that commonly circulate among humans and cause mild illnesses, like the common cold. COVID-19 is a new strain not previously seen in humans.
How COVID-19 Spreads
COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly through close contact from person to person, usually between people who are within about 6 feet of each other. People who are infected but don't show symptoms also can spread the virus to others. Some infections can be spread by exposure to the virus in small droplets and particles that can linger in the air from minutes to hours.
Similarities and Differences between Flu & COVID-19
Influenza (Flu) and COVID-19 are both contagious respiratory illnesses, but they are caused by different viruses. COVID-19 is caused by infection with a new coronavirus, and flu is caused by infection with influenza viruses.
In addition, COVID-19 seems to spread more easily than flu and causes more serious illnesses in some people. It also can take longer before people show symptoms, and people can be contagious for a longer time.
Another important difference is that while is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19, there is a vaccine to protect against flu-and this year, getting your flu shot is more important than ever. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus.
About the Vaccine
"COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective at keeping you from getting COVID-19, especially severe illness and death, and reduce the risk of people spreading the virus that causes COVID-19. You may have side effects after vaccination. These are normal and should go away in a few days. People are considered fully vaccinated 2 weeks after their second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, or 2 weeks after the single-dose Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccine." Learn more about the COVID-19 vaccines.
Check out this video to learn more about how they work, how they are approved, and the latest on the COVID-19 vaccine.