You have certainly heard both “coronavirus” and “Covid-19” used a lot recently. Here is some more information on what they both are and how they are different.
What is a Coronavirus?
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which may cause illness in animals or humans. In humans, several coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The most recently discovered coronavirus causes coronavirus disease COVID-19.
What is Covid-19?
COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus. This new virus and disease were unknown before the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019.
‘Coronavirus,’ in other words, actually refers to a handful of diseases while ‘COVID-19’ is what experts are calling the particular disease currently infected people around the world.
Experts refer to this coronavirus as the “novel coronavirus,” meaning it’s a new type of coronavirus that was not previously known or understood by health experts. COVID-19 is the illness caused by the novel coronavirus.
COVID-19 can lead to major health problems like pneumonia and organ failure, and it can also cause issues like shortness of breath and fever (more on general symptoms in a moment). People who are at the highest risk for severe complications from COVID-19 are those who are over 65, anyone who may be immunocompromised, and those with chronic medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes and lung disease.