The World Health Organization (WHO) has designated the recent coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19) a global public health emergency. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), coronaviruses are common in animal species. Although most don’t affect humans, the most recent strain, COVID-19, does and can easily spread from person to person.
Coronaviruses typically cause mild upper respiratory tract illnesses, and those affected exhibit cold-like symptoms (e.g., headache, cough, fever, sore throat and runny nose). Some coronaviruses, like COVID-19, can be more severe, and individuals may experience lower-respiratory tract illnesses like bronchitis and pneumonia. For the elderly, infants and those with weakened immune systems, COVID-19 can be deadly.