Coronaviruses are a type of virus. There are many different kinds, and some cause disease. A coronavirus identified in 2019, SARS-CoV-2, has caused a pandemic of respiratory illness, called COVID-19.
What You Need to Know
- COVID-19 is the disease caused by SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that emerged in December 2019.
- COVID-19 can be severe, and has caused millions of deaths around the world as well as lasting health problems in some who have survived the illness.
- The coronavirus can be spread from person to person. It is diagnosed with a laboratory test.
- COVID-19 vaccines have been authorized for emergency use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and vaccination programs are in progress across the U.S. and in many parts of the world.
- Prevention involves physical distancing, mask-wearing, hand hygiene and staying away from others if you feel sick.