News about the coronavirus moves so quickly, key definitions or phrases can sometimes pass you by.
The coronavirus is actually not one type of virus; it is a large family of viruses that also includes SARS and other minor to major respiratory illnesses.
COVID-19 is the specific strain of coronavirus responsible for the current epidemic. The acronym, provided by the World Health Organization, stands for “coronavirus disease 2019,” referring to the year the virus was first detected.
The virus responsible for the current epidemic is often called the novel coronavirus. Simply meaning “new,” a novel coronavirus is a strain that hasn’t been detected in humans before.
Brushing up on these and other terms will make the avalanche of information easier to understand. And with a crisis as widespread and complex as this, a little clarity can be a big help.
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