What is COVID-19?

Research has continued to advance our understanding of how COVID-19 affects our health. We now know that the virus can affect people in different ways. For example, some children with COVID-19 later develop a serious inflammatory response called multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, or MIS-C. Some adults who had COVID-19 and recovered — even those who may not have had any symptoms — may continue to struggle with or experience symptoms months later, a condition known as “Long COVID.”

Getting a COVID-19 vaccine can protect you from COVID-19. Wearing a mask indoors, washing your hands often, and staying at least 6 feet from other people can also help protect you and prevent possibly spreading the virus, including the delta variant, to others.

Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for the latest guidelines and information on protecting yourself and others from COVID-19.

    Are there certain groups of people at higher risk of experiencing severe COVID-19 symptoms?

    People age 65 and older are at higher risk for experiencing severe symptoms if they contract the infection. In addition, people of any age with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), serious heart conditions such as heart failure or carotid artery disease, or sickle cell disease; and people who are undergoing immunotherapy treatment for cancer, HIV/AIDS, or other conditions are also at increased risk for severe symptoms. Adults of any age with certain conditions, including asthma, high blood pressure, cystic fibrosis, or pulmonary fibrosis might be at an increased risk for severe illness.

    How can I learn more about COVID-19 clinical trials?

    The NIH and NHLBI are supporting clinical trials to find safe and effective ways to prevent and treat COVID-19.

    These research studies are critical to finding the most promising vaccines and treatments to help end the pandemic. 

    Find out if you or someone you know is eligible to participate in a COVID-19 clinical trial.

    Where can I get additional information on health topics related to COVID-19?

    Visit these health topics for information on conditions related to heart, lung, blood, and sleep that may raise your risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Some topics focus on procedures and devices that may be used to treat COVID-19 and its complications.

    In addition, be sure to check these additional COVID-19 information sources: