About COVID-19 - LA County Department of Public Health

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About COVID-19

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is a respiratory disease that is caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2. Many people who are infected have mild symptoms or even no symptoms, but COVID-19 can also cause severe illness and death. Some people, including those who got no symptoms at first, get health problems that last for weeks or months.

Frequently Asked Questions

Revised 12/3/21




Difficulty Breathing

Symptoms may also include: chills, muscle or body pain, fatigue, headache, sore throat, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, congestion or runny nose, or new loss of taste or smell. This list of symptoms is not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.

How It Spreads

The virus spreads when a person with COVID-19 releases respiratory droplets into the air—for example, when speaking, singing, coughing, shouting, or exercising. These droplets are then breathed in by other people or land on their nose, mouth, or eyes. The virus also spreads by touching a surface with droplets on it and then touching your eyes, nose, or mouth but this is less common.

There are certain places where COVID-19 spreads more easily:

  • Closed spaces with poor airflow
  • Crowded places with many people nearby
  • Close contact settings especially where people are talking (or breathing heavily) close together

COVID-19 Variants

CDC: US COVID-19 Cases Caused by Variants

View a map showing the number of confirmed cases in each state of the new COVID-19 variant.

Variant Frequently Asked Questions
English | Español
Revised 09/15/21

Contact Tracing

Contact tracing is a simple, confidential process that has been used by public health departments for decades to slow the spread of infectious diseases and avoid outbreaks. You can do your part by answering a few simple questions when Public Health calls.

English | Español

What If I'm Sick?

Learn About Symptoms & What To Do If You Are Sick

English | Español | Other languages

Learn About Symptoms & What To Do If You Are Sick (Poster)

English | Español | Other languages

What If I have COVID-19?

Home Isolation Instructions for People with COVID-19

English | Español | Other languages

Clinical and Vaccine Trial Information

Get Help

If you have questions and would like to speak to someone, or need help finding medical care, call the Los Angeles County Information line 2-1-1, which is available 24/7.

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Public Health has made reasonable efforts to provide accurate translation. However, no computerized translation is perfect and is not intended to replace traditional translation methods. If questions arise concerning the accuracy of the information, please refer to the English edition of the website, which is the official version.

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