COVID-19 is a type of coronavirus that causes an infection that has now spread all over the world.

There are a lot of kinds of coronaviruses.

Most cause the common cold.

But other coronaviruses are more serious.

COVID-19 is new and hasn’t been seen in people before.

And for some people, it can become serious and dangerous.

COVID-19 spreads person-to-person through droplets from coughing and sneezing.

It can also spread when you are close to someone who is infected.

It may be spread when you touch something that has the virus on it, such as a doorknob or countertop.

Most people have only mild symptoms or even none at all.

Symptoms can include a cough, a fever, and shortness of breath.

When COVID-19 is severe, it can make it hard to breathe without help.

People who are very sick are treated in a hospital.

If you’re having symptoms, call your doctor because they may want to do a test.

If you get a test, a swab may be used to take a sample of fluid from your nose or throat.

Even if you don’t feel sick right now, it’s important to protect yourself and others from getting sick and spreading the infection.

Here’s what you can do.

Limit where you go in your community.

Try to keep a 6-foot or 2-meter space between you and others.

And wear a mask or cloth face cover.

It’s also important to wash your hands often and well, especially after you cough or sneeze.

Use soap and water, and scrub for at least 20 seconds.

If soap and water aren't available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Avoid touching your mouth, nose, and eyes.

Stay home when you’re sick.

And ask people not to visit you.

As health care and other community services learn more about COVID-19, information can change.

It’s a good idea to know what’s happening in your community, schools, and work.

Find reliable sources of information that give you facts about new cases and what you can do to prevent spreading the virus.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization are two online resources that you can trust.

Thinking about COVID-19 and what it might mean to your family and to your community can be scary.

But it can help to know that although the virus can be serious, most people recover.

Knowing how it’s spread and how to protect yourself can help everyone stay healthy.