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Spread, Symptoms and Prevention

How COVID-19 Spreads

Coronaviruses are spread when an infected person disperses droplets of respiratory fluid through coughs or sneezes. This is similar to how the flu and the common cold are spread. That’s why it’s important to maintain a social distance of at least six feet, wear a face covering over your mouth and nose in public and frequently wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds.

The most up-to-date information about the virus can be found on the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website as well as the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NC DHHS) website.


COVID-19 Symptoms

The symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to other respiratory illnesses like the flu. Symptoms vary, but these are the most common COVID-19 symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Dry cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chills

The CDC recommends that you seek medical advice if you have these symptoms, have been in close contact with someone who has been confirmed with COVID-19 or if you have recently traveled. If you’re concerned about your symptoms, please log into your WakeMed MyChart account and click on "Appointments." Then, click on "COVID-19 Screening Test" and answer the questions. If you do not have a WakeMed MyChart account, download the app through the Apple App Store or Google Play or visit www.mychart.wakemed.org. You can also contact your primary care provider for assistance.

COVID-19 Symptom Comparison


For your own well-being and the well-being of those around you, we ask that you promote the daily practice of everyday prevention:

  • If you are sick, stay home, unless traveling to receive medical care. 
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue, and throw the tissue in the trash. If you do not have a tissue, sneeze or cough into your elbow rather than your hands.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects daily.
  • Do not shake hands with others. Instead exchange verbal greetings.
  • The CDC also recommends that you wear a face mask that covers your mouth and nose when in public.
  • Maintain social distancing of at least six feet.