Learn to pronounce co·ro·na·vi·rus

any of a group of RNA viruses that cause a variety of respiratory, gastrointestinal, and neurological diseases in humans and other animals.

Common questions
What are coronaviruses?
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can infect humans or animals. Sometimes an animal coronavirus can change so that it can infect people and become a human coronavirus. There are seven known types of human coronaviruses.
When did the coronavirus disease receive its name?
The International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV) announced “severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)” as the name of the new virus on 11 February 2020. This name was chosen because the virus is genetically related to the coronavirus responsible for the SARS outbreak of 2003. While related, the two viruses are different.
What causes COVID-19?
COVID-19 is a disease caused by SARS-CoV-2 that can trigger what doctors call a respiratory tract infection. It can affect your upper respiratory tract (sinuses, nose, and throat) or lower respiratory tract (windpipe and lungs). It spreads the same way other coronaviruses do, mainly through person-to-person contact.
What does the word novel mean related to coronavirus?
The word “novel” originated from the Latin word “novus,” which means “new.” In medicine, “novel” usually refers to a virus or bacterial strain that was not previously identified. COVID-19 is a new disease, caused by the novel, or new, coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 that was not previously seen in humans.
For informational purposes only. Consult your local medical authority for health advice.
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Discussions with health department staff are confidential. This means that your personal and medical information will be kept private and only shared with those ...