THE COVID-19 outbreak was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) on March 11, 2020.
The symptoms of the illness associated with this novel coronavirus are similar to those caused by influenza and other respiratory illnesses and include coughing, shortness of breath, fever, and difficulty breathing. According to the World Health Organization’s Report of the WHO-China Joint Mission on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), February 2020, certain portions of the population are more likely to develop severe cases requiring hospitalization including: the elderly and those with underlying conditions of the lungs, heart, or immune system. A portion of people infected with this novel coronavirus have died.
The WHO also confirmed airborne transmission of the novel coronavirus that causes the disease; however, PPE use has not been recommended for members of the public.
The WHO and CDC have recommended airborne precautions for healthcare workers for certain interactions with patients with suspected or known cases of COVID-19.