Special Report

17 Health Questions About COVID-19 Answered

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10. Are recovered people immune to the virus?

The short-term risk of reinfection appears to be low. Some research has shown that recovered COVID-19 patients may have some immunity to the virus for 90 days. However, the CDC has since clarified that the immune response to virus is still largely unknown. Also, sporadic cases of reinfection have been documented.

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11. When should people get tested for COVID-19?

The CDC is regularly updating guidance on who should get tested for COVID-19. As of Dec. 8, people who have COVID-19 symptoms, such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, muscle pain, new loss of taste or smell, vomiting or diarrhea, and/or sore throat, or signs of a lower respiratory illness, should get tested. People who have been exposed to the virus, especially if they have been within 6 feet for a total of 15 minutes or more with someone with confirmed COVID-19 should also consider getting tested.

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12. Which body fluids can spread the virus?

COVID-19 is a respiratory virus, and it can be spread through respiratory fluids coming from the nose and mouth. Sneezing, coughing, and talking could expel respiratory droplets, which can contain the virus. The novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 was found in early research to live for up to three hours in the air. People could potentially breathe in the virus from the air indoors if an infected person has coughed or sneezed there earlier. It is unknown if nonrespiratory body fluids such as vomit, breast milk, or urine from an infected person can contain viable, infectious SARS-CoV-2.

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