What exactly is COVID-19?
On February 11, 2020 the World Health Organization announced an official name for the disease that is causing the 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak, first identified in Wuhan, China. The new name of this disease is coronavirus disease 2019, abbreviated as COVID-19. In COVID-19, ‘CO’ stands for ‘corona,’ ‘VI’ for ‘virus,’ and ‘D’ for disease. Formerly, this disease was referred to as “2019 novel coronavirus” or “2019-nCoV”.
There are many types of human coronaviruses including some that commonly cause mild upper-respiratory tract illnesses. COVID-19 is a new disease, caused by a novel (or new) coronavirus that has not previously been seen in humans.
How does COVID-19 spread?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), COVID-19 spreads person-to-person through direct contact. Direct contact is defined as being within six feet of someone with COVID-19 for 15 consecutive minutes. The virus also spreads through respiratory droplets from the cough or sneeze of an infected person. These droplets can reach the noses, mouths, or lungs of nearby people. It’s possible that the virus can spread from contact with infected surfaces, but this isn’t the main way the virus spreads.