An outbreak of pneumonia that started in Wuhan,
China, in December 2019 has been linked to infection with a newly identified
coronavirus. This virus, now named
SARS-CoV-2 due to its similarity with the virus (SARS-CoV) that caused an
outbreak of severe respiratory disease in 2002-2003, causes a respiratory
illness that the World Health Organization has termed "coronavirus disease
2019," more commonly abbreviated as COVID-19.