For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is regularly updating its information page about coronavirus, which has information about symptoms, prevention and treatment, what to do if you are sick, and how the virus spreads. NOVA has created a short explainer video: "Here’s what medical experts know—and don't know—about the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the disease it causes, called COVID-19."
As of March 12, there were 1.215 cases in the United States and 32 confirmed cases of the virus in Illinois, where Chicago's St. Patrick's Day parades were canceled and travel plans were disrupted, including for Muslims who had planned pilgrimages to holy sites in Saudi Arabia.
In addition to continued updates from PBS NewsHour and WTTW News, PBS and WTTW will offer programming in the upcoming weeks focused on the coronavirus. On Thursday, March 19, at 8:00 pm, NewsHour presents "Confronting Coronavirus," which will focus on public and personal health, as well as economic impact. It will feature a virtual townhall with curated questions from people across America. Following that program, at 9:00 pm, WTTW will encore Spillover, a film about how diseases such as Ebola, Zika, and Nipah are a rising threat. The film has been updated to include the context of the coronavirus. The original Spillover can streamed on-demand.
The novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, is a new coronavirus that has not previously been identified. The virus causing COVID-19 isn't the same as the coronaviruses that commonly circulate among humans and cause mild illness like the common cold. It was first detected in Wuhan, China, and the first infections were linked to a live animal market. Learn more about what the experts know about the virus in this NOVA video.
PBS KIDS has put together resources for families regarding how to talk to your children about the coronavirus and how to teach them habits to keep them healthy.
On April 21 at 9:00 pm, FRONTLINE will narrate the story of coronavirus, its impact, and the response, through the lens of two Washingtons—the state of Washington and the federal government in Washington, D.C.