COVID-19 (Coronavirus disease) is the disease caused by the virus called SARS-CoV-2.
SARS-CoV-2 stands for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2. It is a new type of coronavirus that first started causing severe disease symptoms in people around December 2019.
Coronaviruses are a large group of viruses that can cause illness in the breathing system of the human body. This includes the nose, throat, airways and lungs.
Studies from around the world have found that the SARS-CoV-2 virus is likely to have come from bats. Changes in the virus allowed it to spread to other animals and then to humans. Other viruses that came from animals have caused human diseases over time, like SARS, Ebola, smallpox and measles.
The disease COVID-19 spread quickly around the world. It was first found among people in Wuhan, China, in late 2019.
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