COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) is a disease caused by a virus named SARS-CoV-2, discovered in late December 2019.
COVID-19 is caused by a virus called SARS-CoV-2. It is part of the coronavirus family, which include common viruses that cause a variety of diseases from head or chest colds to more severe (but more rare) disease like severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). Like many other respiratory viruses, coronaviruses spread quickly through droplets that you project out of your mouth or nose when you breathe, cough, sneeze, or speak. COVID-19 most often causes respiratory symptoms that can feel much like a cold, a flu, or pneumonia. COVID-19 may attack more than your lungs and respiratory system. Other parts of your body may also be affected by the disease.