Coronavirus – What You Need to Know

Tina Encarnacion/UConn Health photo

What is Coronavirus?

COVID19 is a novel coronavirus first detected in Wuhan, China in December, 2019. It has since been reported in individuals in 21 additional countries. To date, there are no confirmed cases in Connecticut.

What is a “novel” coronavirus?

A novel coronavirus (CoV) is a new coronavirus that has not been previously identified.

When do symptoms appear?

According the CDC, symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to COVID19.  This is based on the incubation period previously seen with the MERS (Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome) corona virus.

What are symptoms of COVID19?

Symptoms may be flu-like with a wide range in severity. Confirmed COVID19 cased have ranged from little to no symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms can include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Difficulty breathing

Am I more likely to have 2019-nCoV or the Flu?

Actually, you are much more likely to catch the flu. We are in the middle of flu season and cases of flu are widespread and there are no cases of COVID19.

Good news is that it is not too late to get vaccinated for the flu and measures that reduce the spread of flu, reduce the spread of all respiratory viruses, including COVID19.

What if I think I have been exposed to COVID19?

Individuals who think they may have been exposed and are experiencing symptoms should contact their healthcare provider immediately.

You can visit UConn Health’s Emergency Room or one of our Urgent Care locations.

What can I do to stay healthy and protect myself?

Everyday preventive actions help prevent the spread of all respiratory viruses. This includes:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Self-isolate when you are sick.
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow, not into your hands.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

These are everyday habits that can help prevent the spread of many different viruses, including influenza.

While there are no reported cases of the COVID19 in Connecticut, UConn Health is prepared to care for patients with symptoms who may have been exposed to the COVID19.  Our Emergency Department and urgent care locations are equipped to isolate, diagnose, and care for patients with COVID19 according to CDC recommendations.

UConn Health is prepared to care for patients in our Emergency Department or one of our urgent care locations with symptoms of the COVID19.  If you are uncertain whether an in-person evaluation is warranted please contact your healthcare provider to discuss your symptoms.  Please provide your healthcare provider with any recent travel history.

As of 1/31/2020 the State Department has increased all of China to a do not travel status. (

Learn more about the COVID19, its symptoms, and how to protect yourself and your family.