As reported cases of COVID-19 continue to climb worldwide, the information about this new coronavirus is rapidly evolving. Dr. Pritish Tosh, a Mayo Clinic infectious diseases specialist, offers one of the most important things he wants people to know about this virus.
"I think it's important for people to understand that most of the infections with COVID-19 are mild," says Dr. Tosh. "Most healthy people who become infected with this virus are going to have mild symptoms and aren't going to have severe illness."
Journalists: A broadcast-quality sound bite (0:20) with Dr. Tosh is in the downloads at the end of the post. Please courtesy "Pritish Tosh, M.D./Infectious Diseases/Mayo Clinic."
Illness due to COVID-19 infection is generally mild, especially for children and young adults, according to the World Health Organization. Older people and people with certain underlying health conditions like heart disease, lung disease and diabetes, for example, seem to be at greater risk of serious illness, according the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Signs and symptoms of COVID-19 infection may appear two to 14 days after exposure and can include:
If you have symptoms of COVID-19, call your local health care provider or hospital, and ask how best to be evaluated. Do not go to your health care provider or hospital without calling first.