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About Coronavirus (COVID-19)

What is novel coronavirus?

A novel coronavirus is a new coronavirus that has not been previously identified. The virus causing coronavirus disease 2019, often referred to as COVID-19, is not the same as coronaviruses that commonly circulate among humans and cause mild illness, like the common cold.

A diagnosis with coronavirus 229E, NL63, OC43, or HKU1 is not the same as a COVID-19 diagnosis. Patients with COVID-19 will be evaluated and cared for differently than patients with common coronavirus diagnosis.

Source: CDC Frequently Asked Questions - What is novel coronavirus?

Why do some state’s COVID-19 case numbers sometimes differ from what is posted on CDC’s website?

CDC’s overall case numbers are validated through a confirmation process with jurisdictions. The process used for finding and confirming cases displayed by different places may differ.

Source: CDC Frequently Asked Questions - Why do some state’s COVID-19 case numbers sometimes differ from what is posted on CDC’s website?

How do CDC’s COVID-19 case numbers compare with those provided by the World Health Organization (WHO) or Johns Hopkins?

CDC’s COVID-19 case numbers include many publicly reported numbers, including information from state, local, territorial, international and external partners.

Source: CDC Frequently Asked Questions - How do CDC’s COVID-19 case numbers compare with those provided by the World Health Organization (WHO) or Johns Hopkins?

Why do the number of cases for previous days increase?

Delays in reporting can cause the number of COVID-19 cases reported on previous days to increase. (Sometimes this effect is described as “backfill.”) State, local, and territorial health departments report the number of cases that have been confirmed and share these data with CDC. Since it takes time to conduct laboratory testing, cases from a previous day may be added to the daily counts a few days late.

Source: CDC Frequently Asked Questions - Why do the number of cases for previous days increase?

Why is it called coronavirus disease 2019, or COVID-19?

On Feb. 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 be a novel (or new) coronavirus that has not previously been seen in humans. The name of this disease was selected following the World Health Organization (WHO) best practice for naming of new human infectious diseases.

Source: CDC Frequently Asked Questions - Why is it called coronavirus disease 2019, or COVID-19?

What is the source of this virus?

COVID-19 is caused by a coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in people and many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats.  Rarely, animal coronaviruses can infect people and then spread between people. This occurred with MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV, and now with the virus that causes COVID-19. The SARS-CoV-2 virus is a betacoronavirus, like MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV. All three of these viruses have their origins in bats. The sequences from U.S. patients are similar to the one that China initially posted, suggesting a likely single, recent emergence of this virus from an animal reservoir. However, the exact source of this virus is unknown.

More information about the source and spread of COVID-19 is available on the Situation Summary: Source and Spread of the Virus.

Source: CDC Frequently Asked Questions - What is the source of this virus?

Documents

Resources

Signs and Symptoms

Overview of common symptoms and warning signs of Coronavirus (COVID-19)

What if I'm sick?

Resources and information for those who think they may be sick with Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Frequently Asked Questions

A variety of frequently asked questions about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and how we are working to address it

Learn More

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

CDC is one of the major operating components of the Department of Health and Human Services. Their website is being continually updated with new information regarding COVID-19 on a daily basis.

World Health Organization (WHO)

WHO's primary role is to direct international health within the United Nations' system and to lead partners in global health responses. The WHO updates its website regularly with new information regarding COVID-19 on a daily basis and on an international scale.