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2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19): General Info

Information and resources for people interested in learning about the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Coronavirus by the Numbers


The Oregon Health Authority provides demographic statistics about cases of COVID19 by county and by zip code.


Interactive Coronavirus map


Who is at Higher Risk?

If you or someone you know has any of the following health conditions, they may be at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19. OHA explains the underlying health conditions that increase your risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

How is COVID-19 different from the flu?

Health officials are very concerned with this new coronavirus, and say that this threat should be taken seriously. A few important distinctions between the flu and COVID-19:   

  • There is a vaccine for the flu, but not for this virus.
  • Our bodies have built up immunities to the flu, but have not yet to this coronavirus since it is so new.
  • COVID-19 is more deadly than the flu (3% die vs. 1% from the flu). The CDC estimates that between 12,000 (2011-12 flu season) and 79,000 (2017-18 flu season) individuals die on average from flu complications each year. See frequently asked questions about the flu from the CDC for details. 
  • Deaths from COVID-19 occur much more frequently in adults than in children, according to the CDC.
  • The incubation period for the flu is between one and four days, but appears to be between two to 14 days for a person to develop symptoms after initial exposure to the virus.


Fever, chills, repeated shaking with chills, headache, dry cough, muscle pain, sore throat, tiredness, and difficult breathing or shortness of breath are the most common symptoms. Less common symptoms include a lost of sense of smell and taste, as well as digestive issues.  Symptoms often start in the back of the throat with a dry cough.  The CDC has recommendations for those who think they may have been exposed. Go to the hospital or call 911 if someone is experiencing emergency warning signs (below).

Emergency Warning Signs

  • Difficult breathing or shortness of breath
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion or inability to arouse
  • Bluish lips or face

Chart of incubation time(Image source:

Infection risk
Not everyone faces the same level of infection risk. Get updates and information from the CDC, and debunk common misconceptions about coronavirus with this myth busters page from the WHO.

Percentage of severe and critical cases

Roughly 80% of those infected will experience mild to moderate symptoms, 13.8% will develop into severe cases, and 6.1% of those infected will become critical cases. Get updates and information from the CDC, and debunk common misconceptions about coronavirus with this myth busters page from the WHO.

Prevention tips & travel
Follow these helpful tips from the CDC on how to reduce your risk of infection. Check for updates on the WHO travel advice page.

Talk about coronavirus
There are many resources available with advice on how to talk to children about coronavirus.

Local, National, & International Centers of Health

Intro to COVID-19

What Happens During Testing?

For more details, visit MSN

  • A thin swab is inserted either up the patient's nose or back of the throat (prior is best and is similar to an influenza test)
  • Sample swab goes into a liquid-filled tube
  • Sample is transported to a lab
  • Sample is evaluated for matches to known COVID-19 proteins and chemical composition 
  • Test results may take between a few minutes to a day or two