COVID-19 Facts

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What Is COVID-19?

CDC is responding to an outbreak of respiratory disease caused by a novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) that was first detected in China and which has now been detected in more than 100 locations internationally, including in the United States. The virus has been named “SARS-CoV-2” and the disease it causes has been named “COVID-19 disease 2019” (abbreviated “COVID-19”).

  • On March 11, WHO publicly characterized COVID-19 as a pandemic.
  • On March 13, the President of the United States declared the COVID-19 outbreak a national emergency.

Source and Spread of the Virus

COVID-19es are a large family of viruses that are common in people and many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats. Rarely, animal COVID-19es can infect people and then spread between people such as with MERS-CoV, SARS-CoV, and now with this new virus (named SARS-CoV-2). The SARS-CoV-2 virus is a betaCOVID-19, like MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV. All three of these viruses have their origins in bats. The sequences from U.S. patients are similar to the one that China initially posted, suggesting a likely single, recent emergence of this virus from an animal reservoir.

Michigan Leading in Social Distancing, Receives A Grade on Scoreboard

With cases still on the rise, many states and local governments have started to tighten social distancing measures. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has put Michigan under a “stay at home” order to help reduce the spread of cases across the state.

A location data company, Uncast, created a “social distancing scoreboard,” to evaluate how every state in the combating COVID-19. Michigan received an “A” grade under the leadership of Gov. Whitmer, who has made several executive decisions since this crisis began.

Social Distancing Restrictions ‘Fastest Way Out of Extended Distancing’

WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus strongly warns against lifting social distancing measures too soon.


Risk Assessment

The risk depends on characteristics of the virus, including how well it spreads between people; the severity of resulting illness; and the medical or other measures available to control the impact of the virus (for example, vaccines or medications that can treat the illness) and the relative success of these. In the absence of vaccine or treatment medications, nonpharmaceutical interventions become the most important response strategy. These are community interventions that can reduce the impact of the disease.

The risk from COVID-19 to Americans can be broken down into the risk of exposure vs. the risk of serious illness and death.

Beaumont Health Risk Assessment

If you’re experiencing a life-threatening emergency, call 911 or the number for your local emergency service.

Beaumont’s online risk assessment tool provides general information based on interim clinical guidance developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This tool DOES NOT provide diagnosis or treatment of COVID-19. It DOES NOT take into consideration your complete current condition and medical history. It SHOULD NOT be used as a substitute for the advice of an appropriately qualified and licensed physician or other health care provider. Always consult a medical professional for serious symptoms.

Start Risk Assessment


Risk of Severe Illness

Early information out of China, where COVID-19 first started, shows that some people are at higher risk of getting very sick from this illness. This includes:

COVID-19 Symptom Comparison

Here are the symptoms associated with COVID-19 and how they compare with symptoms of the common cold, the flu, and allergies.










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