Coronavirus disease 2019
COVID-19 deaths in Africa as of April 2020

COVID-19 is an infectious disease first discovered in Wuhan, China, in December 2019.[1] The disease may be mild but can also cause severe pneumonia and death.

The contagious agent is a new coronavirus with similarities to a previously identified coronavirus known to be the cause the disease SARS. These two diseases have similarities, but are different diseases caused by distinct viruses.

The official name of the new coronavirus as agreed by the ICTV is SARS-CoV-2, although when communicating with the public, WHO refers to the virus as "the virus responsible for COVID-19" or "the COVID-19 virus" to avoid causing unnecessary fear for some populations, especially in Asia which was worst affected by the SARS outbreak in 2003.[2][3]

The WHO declared the COVID-19 outbreak to be a PHEIC in January 30, 2020,[4] and in March 11 the same year, WHO declared it to be a pandemic.[5]

See COVID-19-dashboard

Image source: Our World In Data (external page)