What is the difference between COVID-19 and coronavirus? What is SARS-CoV-2? What is novel coronavirus/nCoV?

Coronavirus is the name of a family of viruses, some of which cause respiratory infections in humans. For example, there are many coronaviruses that cause the common cold. “Novel coronavirus,” abbreviated as nCoV, is a general term assigned to any newly-discovered coronavirus before giving it a formal name. SARS-CoV-2 (previously called 2019-nCoV) is the formal name that the World Health Organization (WHO) has assigned to the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, the respiratory illness whose first case was identified in Wuhan, China in December 2019 (COVID-19 stands for Coronavirus Disease 2019). For simplicity, we’ll use the term “novel coronavirus” or “coronavirus” in these materials.  


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