What is a coronavirus?
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which may cause illness in animals or humans. In humans, several coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The most recently discovered coronavirus causes coronavirus disease COVID-19.
What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus. This new virus and disease were unknown before the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, and dry cough. Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea. These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. Some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms and don't feel unwell. Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing special treatment. Around 1 out of every 6 people who gets COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and develops difficulty breathing. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness. About 2% of people with the disease have died. People with fever, cough and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention.
Can the virus that causes COVID-19 be transmitted through the air?
Studies to date suggest that the virus that causes COVID-19 is mainly transmitted through contact with respiratory droplets rather than through the air.
Can COVID-19 be caught from a person who has no symptoms?
The main way the disease spreads is through respiratory droplets expelled by someone who is coughing. The risk of catching COVID-19 from someone with no symptoms at all is very low. However, many people with COVID-19 experience only mild symptoms. This is particularly true at the early stages of the disease. It is therefore possible to catch COVID-19 from someone who has, for example, just a mild cough and does not feel ill. WHO is assessing ongoing research on the period of transmission of COVID-19 and will continue to share updated findings.
What is CDC doing about COVID-19?
This is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation and CDC will continue to provide updated information as it becomes available. CDC works 24/7 to protect people’s health. More information about CDC’s response to COVID-19 is available online.
Are children more susceptible to the virus that causes COVID-19 compared with the general population and how can infection be prevented?
No, there is no evidence that children are more susceptible. In fact, most confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported from China have occurred in adults. Infections in children have been reported, including in very young children. From limited information published from past Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) outbreaks, infection among children was relatively uncommon.
Are children at increased risk for severe illness, morbidity, or mortality from COVID-19 infection compared with adults?
There have been very few reports of the clinical outcomes for children with COVID-19 to date. Limited reports from China suggest that children with confirmed COVID-19 may present with mild symptoms and though severe complications (acute respiratory distress syndrome, septic shock) have been reported, they appear to be uncommon. However, as with other respiratory illnesses, certain populations of children may be at increased risk of severe infection, such as children with underlying health conditions.
Are there any treatments available for children with COVID-19?
There are currently no antiviral drugs recommended or licensed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for COVID-19. Clinical management includes prompt implementation of recommended infection prevention and control measures in healthcare settings and supportive management of complications. See more information on CDC Clinical Guidance for COVID-19. Children and their family members should engage in usual preventive actions to prevent the spread of respiratory infections, including covering coughs, cleaning hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer, and staying up to date on vaccinations, including influenza. Additional information on prevention measures can be found here (Prevention for 2019 Novel Coronavirus).
How long will it take to develop a treatment or vaccine?
Several drugs are being tested, and some initial findings are expected soon. A vaccine to stop the spread is still at least a year away.
Who is at risk for COVID-19?
Currently, those at greatest risk of infection are persons who have had prolonged, unprotected close contact with a patient with symptomatic, confirmed COVID-19 and those who live in or have recently been to areas with sustained transmission.
Since COVID-19 is spread through contact with others, is it still safe for our girl to be selling cookies in public places?
The safety and wellbeing of girls and volunteers is of paramount importance during all Girl Scout activities, especially the Girl Scout Cookie Program. We encourage all girls and volunteers to follow all safety and health protocols and are actively disseminating information from the CDC and other sources as it becomes available. Currently, we encourage girls and volunteers to continue with their cookie sales, exercising caution and discretion. We will keep our volunteers updated on any change in our recommendation.
Are any Girl Scouts/ volunteers showing symptoms/ have the virus already?
Scenario 1: At this time, Girl Scouts of Michigan Shore to Shore has no reason to believe any of our girls or volunteers are affected by the coronavirus. We encourage all girls and volunteers to exercise discretion and follow all Girl Scout and CDC safety protocols.
There is a lot of hate/ racism towards the Asian community, how is Girl Scouts creating a safe space?
Unfortunately, these kinds of discriminatory attacks can occur at times like these. Girl Scouts of Michigan Shore to Shore strongly condemns acts of discrimination against the Asian community, or any other demographic group. We are proud of our legacy of inclusion and diversity. Girl Scouts is and always will be safe space for all girls, regardless of the demographic group to which they belong.
Does Girl Scouts have any medical expertise?
While Girl Scouts strives to be a resource for girls and their caregivers, we want to ensure that official guidance of the Centers for Disease Control, (CDC) and other official sources reach our members in a timely and efficient manner.
Being in school, meetings, and activities, young children are not the most diligent with hygiene. Is it okay for our girls to be interacting with each other?
While Girl Scouts of Michigan Shore to Shore cannot account for every interaction girls have had outside of Girl Scouts, at this time, we have no reason to believe any of our girls are affected by the coronavirus. However, we are taking precautions and educating our girls about developing and maintain healthy routines, such as frequently washing their hands, and avoiding contact with their faces. We encourage all girls and volunteers to exercise discretion and follow all Girl Scout and CDC safety protocols.