COVID-19 (Coronavirus disease) is the infectious disease caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2.
SARS-CoV-2 stands for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2. It is a new strain of coronavirus that first started causing severe disease symptoms in people around December 2019.
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can cause infections in the respiratory system of the human body. This is the system that takes care of breathing and includes the nose, throat, airways and lungs.
Researchers from around the world have reported 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 eventually humans. Viruses that originally came from animals have caused many human diseases over time, including SARS, Ebola, smallpox and measles.
The disease COVID-19 has spread rapidly around the world after it was first identified among people in Wuhan, China, in late 2019.
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