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Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. Many of them infect animals, but some coronaviruses from animals can evolve (change) into a new human coronavirus that can spread from person-to-person. This is what happened with the new coronavirus known as SARS-CoV-2, which causes the disease known as COVID-19. Diseases from coronaviruses in people typically cause mild to moderate illness, like the common cold. Some, like the SARS or MERS viruses cause serious infections like pneumonia.
Like other respiratory illnesses, such as influenza, human coronaviruses most commonly spread to others from an infected person who has symptoms through:
We are learning more each day about how easily the new coronavirus spreads and how long it takes for people to become sick. As information becomes available, we will keep you informed. Do not assume that someone of a race or nationality is likely to have COVID-19; this new virus has infected people of many different races and nationalities across the entire world.
Reported illnesses have ranged from people with mild symptoms to people becoming severely ill, requiring admission to the hospital, and dying. Symptoms include:
Evidence from other countries suggest that like the flu, most people will have mild symptoms and should stay home until 24 hours after fever. Certain people should call their doctor early, including the elderly, pregnant women, those with compromised immune systems or underlying medical problems. If you are having difficulty breathing or keeping fluids down, go to an emergency room or call 911, otherwise it is better to call your doctor before going in to seek care.
You should also call a doctor if you have had close contact with a person who has COVID-19. Visit the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website for an up to date list of countries most affected by COVID-19.
Los Angeles County recommends all residents who want a COVID-19 test should first call their Primary Care Provider or Health Care Center to get a test at their facility. If this care is not available, testing is offered across the County of Los Angeles. To find sites and make appointments visit the Los Angeles County Health Services COVID-19 Testing page.
The closest testing sites to Lynwood include MLK Medical Campus, South Gate Park, St. John's Well Child and Family Center/Compton and Rancho Los Amigos/South Campus (August 2020).
There is no specific treatment for illness caused by the novel coronavirus, however, many of the symptoms can be treated. Treatment is based on the patient's condition.
There have been several cases identified in the United States that have not had travel to affected country. This does suggest there is community spread in the United States and that spread may continue.
At this time, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that people avoid all nonessential travel to countries that are most affected by COVID-19. Check the CDC COVID-19
View the Information for Travel Frequently Asked Questions webpage.
Taking steps to prevent the spread of respiratory infections, like the flu, will also help to prevent coronaviruses. Talk with your doctor before travel to make sure you have received the recommended vaccines and medications specific to your destination to protect your health.
Because of the COVID-19 outbreak in mainland China and Iran, there are White House travel directives in place:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is recommending that any traveler from other countries with outbreaks of COVID-19 who may have fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, within 14 days after leaving should call their doctor and self-isolate (avoid contact with others and not travel on public transportation while sick).
With the new travel guidance, Public Health will regularly monitor potential cases to see if they develop any symptoms or fever. This is the same process we use with other communicable diseases, such as measles. Public Health will also monitor contacts for 14 days after the time of their last exposure, after which time they are free of the risk of developing COVID-19.
As with other respiratory illnesses, there are steps that everyone can take daily to reduce the risk of getting sick or infecting others with circulating viruses. You should:
Facemasks or face coverings are required when out in public.
If COVID-19 is spreading widely through a community it may be necessary to recommend that schools or business close to help prevent the spread of disease. Public health is encouraging organizations and schools to review and update their emergency plans and consider ways to continue critical services if on-site operations must be reduced temporarily. Speak with your children's school or daycare center to learn about their emergency operation plan and prepare ahead for possible alternate childcare arrangements. Also speak with employers and learn about what you might be asked to do if there are closures or reduced operations at your worksite.
When you hear, read, or watch news about an outbreak of an infectious disease, it is normal to feel anxious and show signs of stress-even when the outbreak affects people far from where you live and you are at low risk of getting sick. It is important to care for your own physical and mental health. For tips on what you can do to help cope, read "Coping with Stress During Infectious Disease Outbreaks" on the Public Health website. For help, call the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health Access Center 24/7 Helpline at 800-854-7771 or call 211.
If you have questions and would like to speak to someone, call 211.