“Can I catch the coronavirus from eating Chinese food?”

Updated: Oct 29, 2020

and other questions that your kids are probably wondering, but haven't asked...

Bridget Chapital, BS, MEd | February 13, 2020

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For weeks now, you can’t turn on a TV without hearing reports about COVID-19, aka, the coronavirus. As scientists race to piece together the puzzle of how the disease started and how it can be stopped, it seems like there’s a new development almost every hour.*


To separate truth from rumor, I put together a few fast facts to help families talk to kids about COVID-19.


What is the coronavirus, and how did it start?

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Coronavirus is a family of diseases that spread from animals to people. Just like the flu,it has been around for a very long time, and there are some versions that are more harmful to people than others. In the past, there have been coronavirus versions, like SARS and MERS, that have made people very sick.


In December of 2019, scientists and doctors noticed a new and deadly version of coronavirus that they think started in the food markets of Wuhan, a city in the Hubei province in China. Scientists have given the name COVID-19 to this newly discovered version of the coronavirus.


Under the microscope, this version looks a lot like a coronavirus that has been found in bats. But since bats are not sold in the food markets, scientists are still trying to figure out how the disease was able to spread from animals to humans.


Can I catch COVID-19 from playing with my Asian friends?