COVID-19 is a Coronavirus

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is a Coronavirus and is a highly infectious respiratory disease. The recently discovered coronavirus has been named “SARS-CoV-2.” The disease it causes has been named “coronavirus disease 2019,” which is abbreviated as “COVID-19”.

Covid-19

COVID-19 is a coronavirus that first appeared in China, in December 2019. It is believed that the new virus is linked to a seafood and exotic animal meat market in Wuhan, Hubei Province. Some people who visited the market developed viral pneumonia caused by the new coronavirus. However, a study released in January 2020 notes that first reported case of COVID-19 happened on December 1, 2019, and had no connection to the seafood market. Investigations are ongoing. 

What is Coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses common in humans and many animals. Humans get viral respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to severe diseases such as MERS and SARS. For more details on human coronavirus types, see the CDC website.

People usually get coronaviruses from animals, for instance, by handling a sick animal or infected meat. A person generally does not get a coronavirus from eating the meat. Animal coronaviruses can infect people, then spread between people, such as with MERS-CoV, SARS-CoV. Now, we see COVID-19 being widely and quickly transmitted. It is interesting to note that all three of these viruses have their origins in snakes, bats or pangolins.

Why is it called a “Corona” virus?

It has nothing to do with Corona brand beer! It is called a “corona” virus because under a microscope, coronaviruses look like they are covered with tiny “crowns.” “Corona” is the feminine noun in Spanish for “crown.”

What Does “Community Spread” Mean?

Community spread means that people become infected without known contact to a sick animal or person, or travel to an infected area. Community spread means we do not known how or where they became exposed.

Many patients at the outbreak in Wuhan had some connection to a seafood and live animal market. This suggests that at first the virus spread from an animal to a person. Later, a growing number of patients did not have exposure to the animal market, indicating person-to-person “community spread.” Because of this, COVID-19 quickly spread to outside of China. Learn about the spread of COVID-19 from the experts at the CDC (Center for Disease Control) . The virus spread quickly because there were not enough of the right kind of masks for viruses available at the epicenter in Wuhan. At first, even medical professionals did not know that people might be infected and might not show symptoms for 14 or more days.

See our cleaning checklist for places you touch that can infect you.

If we practice smart daily hygiene, community spread can be slowed down greatly. Slowing down the spread will result in hospitals being able to keep up with demand. This is why declaring a “state of emergency” BEFORE everyone is sick is effective.

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