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Your most Googled questions about COVID-19 answered

Your questions are important. That's why Local 5 is here to answer them with facts, not fear.

Questions continue to pour into the Google machine about COVID-19, the coronavirus that causes respiratory illnesses in those who contract it.

Let's take a look at the top questions in the United States.

1. What is the coronavirus?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that they're currently responding to an outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel (new) coronavirus, COVID-19.

COVID-19 is one of seven kinds of coronavirus. Common types include the common cold, while other types include SARS and MERS.

Most news outlets are using "coronavirus" and "COVID-19" interchangeably. The rest of this article will also use the terms interchangeably.

Credit: WOI
Human coronavirus is like an umbrella, there are seven different kinds, but only some of them can cause severe illnesses.

RELATED: Seven kinds of coronavirus: Chances are you’ve had one at some point

2. How many people have died from coronavirus?

The number of people that have died from COVID-19 globally is 4,012, according to the World Health Organization. That's out of the 113,702 confirmed cases around the world. 3,140 of those deaths happened in China, the epicenter of the outbreak.

3. How to prepare for the coronavirus

The CDC says all Americans need to be prepared for the possibility of an outbreak in their community.

Taking preventative steps is the best way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19, according to health officials.

  • Wash your hands with soap for 20 seconds
  • Cover your mouth with your sleeve when you cough or sneeze
  • Stay home if you're sick

Community-based interventions such as school dismissals, event cancellations, social distancing, and creating employee plans to work remotely can slow the spread of COVID-19, according to the CDC.

As travelers from the U.S. head back to the states, they may find themselves being quarantined or isolated to keep the general public safe from contracting this strain of coronavirus.

The goal of isolation and quarantine is the same: protect the public by preventing exposure to people who have or may have a contagious disease. Read more by clicking/tapping the link below.

RELATED: BREAKDOWN: What's the difference between self-isolation and quarantine?

4. How did the coronavirus get started? 

The CDC says COVID-19's epicenter is in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. Many patients had some link to a large seafood and live animal market, suggesting animal-to-person spread.

Later on, a growing number of patients reportedly did not have any contact with animal markets, indicating person-to-person spread, according to the CDC.

RELATED: Coronavirus timeline: The spread of COVID-19

5. How is coronavirus spread?

The CDC says COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person. 

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

The CDC says these droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

RELATED: How does a virus spread, and how can it be prevented?