Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can cause illness in animals and humans. In humans, they can 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 virus that causes COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, is a novel coronavirus first identified in December 2019 in Wuhan, China.
COVID-19 is primarily spread through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes, and it can also be transmitted by touching a surface or object contaminated with the virus and then touching the face. Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. The severity of the illness can range from mild to severe, and in some cases it can be fatal.
There is no specific treatment for COVID-19, and no vaccine is currently available. Prevention measures include washing hands frequently with soap and water, practicing social distancing, and wearing a face covering in public settings.