What is coronavirus: Everything you need to know

By Lisa Tolin

With the number of coronavirus cases climbing in the U.S. and around the world, fear may be spreading faster than the virus itself.

You might be wondering what the symptoms of coronavirus are, whether to change travel plans and how to stock up for a possible coronavirus emergency. (Are we talking standard go bag, or clear the shelves at CVS?)

We've gathered everything you need to know about the coronavirus crisis in one place

What's the latest coronavirus news?

How far has coronavirus spread? Where are there cases of coronavirus? Find all the latest news and developments about coronavirus at the NBC News coronavirus live blog.

What is coronavirus?

The new coronavirus is a respiratory virus discovered in China. There's no evidence that it is airborne or transmitted through food. Here's more about COVID-19.

What should I buy?

It doesn't hurt to stock up on pantry staples, fill your prescriptions and buy extra diapers, for starters. Here are 10 ways to prepare and a grocery list.

What are the symptoms of coronavirus?

NBC News medical correspondent Dr. John Torres explained that roughly half of people who have coronavirus show symptoms in about five days. By 12 days, nearly everyone infected will show symptoms.

Symptoms of coronavirus include cough, sore throat and fever. Here's more information on when to contact your doctor and whether coronavirus is worse than the flu.

Will warmer weather stop the spread of coronavirus?

Torres said experts are crossing their fingers that will happen, but it's still too early to tell.

"A this stage since it's so novel, it hasn't gotten through a season, so we can't tell," Torres explained.

How does coronavirus affect pregnant women?

Experts simply don't know very much about how coronavirus may impact pregnant women, but here's what they do know.

How does coronavirus affect children?

Coronavirus seems to be sparing children, and experts do not understand why.

How do I wash hands to kill coronavirus?

Soap and water may be the best protection you've got. Here's how to wash your hands to protect against coronavirus, and these are the best hand sanitizers to buyAny soap that gets a good lather will work.

How do I make hand sanitizer?

Experts say making your own hand sanitizer may not be wise.

How can I clean my home to protect against coronavirus?

Here's how to clean surfaces to kill coronavirus. Don't forget to clean your phone!

How do I stop touching my face?

One study found people touch their faces as often as 23 times an hour. Here's how to stop.

Should I wear gloves to prevent coronavirus?

Doctors warn that disposable gloves are not a solution to stopping the spread of the virus.

Should I wear a face mask?

No. There is no recommendation to wear a face mask and buying them could take them away from public health workers who do need masks.

What if I'm over 60?

Dr. Oz shared specific advice for people over 60. Scientists are not sure why older people are at greater risk.

If I think I have coronavirus, what should I do?

First, don't panic. Start by calling your doctor.

How do you treat coronavirus?

There is not yet any antiviral medication or vaccine to stop coronavirus. Patients receive supportive care to breathe easier and help their bodies fight the disease.

Should I change my travel plans?

Thinking about changing a trip or getting travel insurance? Here are all of your coronavirus travel questions answered. Plus, check out this list of U.S. airlines' cancellation and fee waiver policies.

How can I protect myself while traveling?

If you need to travel, there are steps you can take to avoid infection. Some airlines are changing how they clean planes.

How can I protect my family from coronavirus?

Here's what parents need to know about coronavirus and kids.

What is social distancing?

It may be time to stop shaking hands at business meetings. Here's more on "social distancing."

Can "silver solution" cure coronavirus?

No. It's among the COVID-19 scams officials are warning about. The FDA warns that silver solution, or colloidal silver, cannot cure anything and may even damage your health. Televangelist Jim Bakker was among those warned not to sell the solution.

What can working parents do when schools close?

School closures threaten to upend daily life, and it will be especially hard for people without paid leave.

What should I tell my kids about coronavirus?

Calm their fears and use it as an opportunity to build media literacy skills.

Can dogs and cats get coronavirus?

There is no evidence that dogs and cats can be infected by COVID-19, according to the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Does the U.S. have the facilities to treat people with coronavirus?

"The biggest concern is the ventilators we have out here," explained Torres. "It is a respiratory virus, so if people get to the stage where they need ventilator support because they're not breathing very well — a recent study a few years ago said there are only 62,000 ventilators in this country."

That may not be enough if hundreds of thousands of people become ill, though Torres noted companies may begin to produce more ventilators if it looks like that may happen.

Will the Olympics be affected?

Dick Pound, a senior member of the International Olympic Committee, told NBC News a decision about whether to proceed with holding the event would need to be made by late May. For now, the International Olympics Committee isn't planning to cancel the Games, which have dealt with potential health threats in the recent past.


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