Coronavirus is affecting us all. The world’s children are vulnerable to getting sick, living in quarantine or possibly being separated from their families. In the U.S. alone, 30 million children who rely on school for both learning and meals are at great risk. Your donation today can help Save the Children and our partner No Kid Hungry make sure schools and community programs have the support they need. 

Facts & Figures: Coronavirus Outbreak

On Tuesday, January 21, 2020, the first case of a mysterious, pneumonia-like virus that originated in China was confirmed in the United States.

As of Wednesday, March 11, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic. 

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Here’s what you need to know about the virus.

FAQs: What you need to know about the new coronavirus

What is a coronavirus?
What is 'COVID-19'?
What's the difference between a pandemic and an epidemic
How can I talk to my kids about coronavirus?
Why do schools need to close if coronavirus isn't dangerous for kids?
How is Save the Children responding to the Coronavirus pandemic?
What is Save the Children’s history of responding to global pandemic threats?
What is the impact of coronavirus on Save the Children's programs?
How is coronavirus affecting children in sponsorship communities?
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
How did the new strain of coronavirus start?
How many people have been affected? 
How many people in the U.S. have been affected by the coronavirus? 
How many people have recovered from the coronavirus? 
How is it transmitted?
What's being done to stop the spread?
What is the treatment for COVID-19?
Are children at greater risk of contracting coronavirus?
What can I do to protect myself and others?
How can I help children and families in coronavirus-affected areas and other countries at great risk?

 

What is a coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

What is 'COVID-19'?

COVID-19 is the name for the new strain of coronavirus that has not been previously identified in humans.

On Tuesday, February 11, World Health Organization (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom announced the official name for the disease is 'COVID-19'. "Having a name matters to prevent the use of other names that can be inaccurate or stigmatizing,” he said. “It also gives us a standard format to use for any future coronavirus outbreaks."

On Wednesday, March 11, the WHO declared the rapidly spreading coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. Doing so marked the first time the WHO called an outbreak a pandemic since the 2009 H1N1 swine flu.

What's the difference between a pandemic and an epidemic?

An epidemic is an unexpected regional outbreak of specific illness. A pandemic is an epidemic that has spread worldwide.

How can I talk to my kids about the coronavirus?

It’s important to be calm, honest and informed when speaking to children about news related to the coronavirus. You can start by asking your child what they already know about the coronavirus.

Many times, children can take their cues from adults, so it’s important to answer their questions and address any misinformation simply and calmly. It also helps to validate their feelings, while reminding them what’s in their power—washing hands thoroughly and often, coughing and sneezing into their elbow, getting plenty of sleep, etc.

This is as important a time as ever to model strong behavior when it comes to practicing good hygiene.

Why do schools need to close if coronavirus isn't dangerous for kids?

A study of more than 2,000 children in China found that while most children develop mild or moderate symptoms, a small percentage — especially babies and preschoolers — can become seriously ill. 

Schools are closing in order to promote social distancing and minimize crowds—both proven measures to slow the spread of disease and, in turn, save lives.

How is Save the Children responding to the current coronavirus outbreak?

Sadly, we do not expect the coronavirus to go away anytime soon. As such, our teams are doing everything we can to build plans to keep children and our staff protected and healthy.

In the U.S., Save the Children and No Kid Hungry have partnered to help make sure schools and community programs have the support they need to keep feeding vulnerable children, as well as provide books, games and other educational materials along with afterschool and summer programs to help kids make up for lost time in the classroom. We’re doing this with the help of celebrity supporters including Jennifer Garner, Amy Adams and Jimmy Fallon, who are reading children’s books online with #SavewithStories

Around the world, Save the Children has launched a Global Coronavirus Response to help in the following three ways: 

In China, we’ve delivered medical supplies to help and protect healthcare workers in Wuhan, and are working closely with our colleagues on the ground to provide additional support.

Globally, Save the Children is hosting a series of pandemic preparedness workshops for global and local NGOs, in multiple locations across Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

Additionally, we’re training health teams worldwide how to protect themselves and prevent further spread of the disease, and working through our staff and programs in more than 100 countries to leverage our global health expertise and share vital information on how to help guard against this virus and protect communities.

Our Response in China
We have deployed a health specialist to our Asia regional office in Singapore to provide technical support and preparedness planning for our staff and programs.

As of Friday, February 6, Save the Children China has delivered 36,000 face masks from our storage facility in Indonesia to hospitals in Wuhan with support from local volunteers. The delivery follows China’s acknowledgment of the shortage of face masks, goggles and protective suits.

We are using knowledge and expertise gained Ebola outbreaks to provide educational messages to families, schools and childcare workers on how to reduce transmission of the virus and protect children’s physical and emotional wellbeing.

Our Global Preparation
In support of the global humanitarian community, Save the Children is also leading a global consortium aimed at strengthening capacity for responses to major infectious disease outbreaks or pandemics, which is called READY. READY is engaged in building potential response scenarios to the emerging coronavirus, and other major epidemics/pandemic-prone pathogens.

We are preparing response plans for all 120 countries where we work, with special attention to scenarios of high transmission rates in low-resource countries. 

Your support today helps this lifesaving work.

Local volunteers in Wuhan, China wear protective suiting while helping to load boxes of face masks donated by Save the Children onto a distribution truck.

What is Save the Children’s history of responding to global pandemic threats?

Historically, Save the Children has been proactive in preparedness for pandemic threats.

Our global health teams have contributed substantially to World Health Organization (WHO) guidance documents related to mitigating the consequences of a global pandemic.

Save the Children’s emergency health teams have also played a key role in responding to major epidemics around the world, including a large-scale immunization campaign in response to the Yellow Fever outbreak in DRC as well as the cholera outbreak response in Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia, and DRC.

In response to the 2014 West Africa Ebola virus outbreak, Save the Children was at the heart of the crisis from the start. During the diphtheria outbreak among Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, Save the Children was there, supporting the emotional and educational needs of vulnerable children.

Save the Children’s Emergency Health Unit deployed to the Pacific Island of Samoa to support the government's response to the 2019 measles outbreak and help save the lives of children in need.

And currently, as Ebola continues to rage on in the DRC, our teams are actively racing to fight against the deadly outbreak.

What is the impact of coronavirus on Save the Children's programs?

Save the Children is working to ensure that all our programs, particularly in those countries most at risk from the outbreak, are ready to respond. This includes making sure our health clinics have enough soap and hygiene supplies to prevent the spread of infection.

Our teams are also focused on making sure we provide the right health messages to the community to help them protect themselves from the virus and know when to seek help.

How is coronavirus affecting children in sponsorship communities?

Coronavirus is a global pandemic that threatens children’s rights in countries around the world, including those countries where Save the Children has sponsorship programs. To learn more about how our teams are working to address the specific needs of sponsored children, click here

What are the symptoms of the new coronavirus?

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and shortness of breath. These symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure. 

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, call your health provider.

How did the new strain of coronavirus start?

The outbreak began in Wuhan, China—a city of 11 million people—in December 2019. 

Health officials believe the virus was initially transmitted from animals to humans, as many of the early patients were linked to a large seafood and animal market in the city.

How many people have been affected by the coronavirus? 

On February 9, 2020, the total number of deaths was confirmed at 908, officially surpassed the toll from the 2002-2003 SARS outbreak. Sadly, that number continues to rise. 

As of April 6, the death toll is reported at 70,356 while the number of reported cases is over 1,286,4091.

How many people in the U.S. have been affected by the coronavirus?

On Tuesday, January 21, the first case of the new coronavirus was confirmed in the U.S. The patient was placed in isolation at Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett, Washington.

As of April 6, a total of 337,933 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in the U.S. The death toll is reported at 9,653 while 17,582 people have recovered.  

How many people have recovered from the coronavirus?

As of April 6, it is being reported that 270,098 people have recovered.

How is the new coronavirus transmitted?

Person-to-person spread: the virus 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 talks, coughs or sneezes.
  • These droplets can land in the mouths, noses, or eyes of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
  • Spread from contact with contaminated surfaces or objects.
  • It’s also possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or eyes.

It's been confirmed that the virus can be transmitted with very mild, or even no symptoms—which is why it’s crucial to slow the spread by avoiding crowds and keep a distance of at least six feet from others, whenever possible.

What's being done to stop the spread of the new coronavirus?

In the U.S. and around the world, restrictions are being put in place to promote social distancing—avoiding crowds and limiting close contact (at least six feet) with anyone outside of your immediate family.

These restrictions include closing schools, restaurants, and public events like concerts and sporting events.

Everyone can help slow the spread of the novel Coronavirus by washing their hands often and thoroughly, staying home when sick, coughing and sneezing into their elbows, and limiting close contact with others.

What is the treatment for the new coronavirus?

Just as there is no treatment for the common cold, there are no specific treatments for the new coronavirus.

While scientists are working to develop anti-virals and a vaccine, it won’t be widely available in the near future.

What can I do to protect myself and others?

As with all viruses, practicing good hygiene is the best way to prevent illness: wash your hands often, with soap and for at least 20 seconds. Avoid close contact, when possible, with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.

To protect others, cough and sneeze in your elbow; stay home when you’re not feeling well to help your body recover and avoid spreading germs to others.

Are children at greater risk of contracting coronavirus?

Children do not appear to be at higher risk of contracting the coronavirus than adults. While some children and infants have been sick with the virus, adults make up most of the known cases to date.

But it is still important to protect your children by using good hygiene and avoiding close contact with others. A study of more than 2,000 children in China found that while most children develop mild or moderate symptoms, a small percentage — especially babies and preschoolers — can become seriously ill.

How can I help children and families impacted by coronavirus?

Children, their families and their communities impacted by coronavirus will need continued relief in the days and months to come. Please help our efforts around the world with a donation today.

Updated April 6, 2020

[1] Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases by Johns Hopkins CSSE

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