I picked up this advisory from Mayo Clinic (slightly edited). It is important to be cautious, while armed with facts and information — follow professional advice. The World Health Organization (WHO) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) also recommends these steps:

What is Coronavirus – COVID-19 ?

A new virus called the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2  has been identified as the cause of a disease outbreak that began in China in 2019. The disease is called coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

The virus is a type of coronavirus — a family of viruses that can cause illnesses such as the common cold, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS).

Cases of COVID-19 have been reported in a growing number of countries, including the U.S. WHO declared a global pandemic in March 2020.

How does COVID-19 spread?

The new coronavirus appears to spread from person to person among those in close contact. It is spread by respiratory droplets when someone infected with the virus coughs or sneezes. It’s unclear exactly how contagious the virus is.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

COVID-19 symptoms can be very mild to severe and include a fever, cough and shortness of breath. Some people have no symptoms. Symptoms may appear two to 14 days after exposure.

What can I do to avoid becoming ill?

WHO and CDC recommend following these precautions for avoiding COVID-19:

  • Avoid large events and mass gatherings.
  • Avoid close contact (about 6 feet) with anyone who is sick or has symptoms.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with your elbow or a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw away the used tissue.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth if your hands aren’t clean.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces you often touch on a daily basis.

What can I do if I am or may be ill with COVID-19?

If you have symptoms or you’ve been exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19:  Important to contact your doctor right away if you have COVID-19 symptoms and you’ve been exposed to the virus.