COVID-19: Get the Facts

More Fact-Checking Resources

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Prevention and Treatment of the New Coronavirus

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control has this advice for people concerned about the spread of the new coronavirus, 2019-nCoV.

Click on the headings below to read the CDC's recommendations.

There is currently no vaccine to prevent 2019-nCoV infection. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus. The CDC recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses:

  • 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.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Travelers should:

  • Avoid all nonessential travel to mainland China, South Korea, Italy and Iran
    • If you must travel to these areas:

    • Avoid contact with sick people.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Discuss travel to any of these areas with your healthcare provider. Older adults and travelers with underlying health issues may be at risk for more severe disease.
    • Avoid animals (alive or dead), animal markets, and products that come from animals (such as uncooked meat).
    • Clean your hands often by washing them with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60%-95% alcohol. Soap and water should be used if hands are visibly dirty.
    • It is especially important to clean hands after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose.
    • Supplies of hand sanitizer, tissues, and other hygiene products may be limited, so consider bringing them with you.
    • Pay attention to your health during travel and for 14 days after you leave.

    If you spent time in these areas during the past 14 days and feel sick with fever or cough and have difficulty breathing:

    • Take your temperature.
    • Seek medical advice. Call ahead before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room. Tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.
    • Avoid contact with others.
    • Do not travel while sick.
    • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
    • Clean your hands often by washing them with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60%–95% alcohol immediately after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose. Soap and water should be used if hands are visibly dirty.

There is no specific antiviral treatment recommended for 2019-nCoV infection. People infected with 2019-nCoV should receive supportive care to help relieve symptoms. For severe cases, treatment should include care to support vital organ functions.

People who think they may have been exposed to 2019-nCoV should contact your healthcare provider immediately.

To learn more about the 2019-nCoV virus, visit the CDC's Frequently Asked Questions page.