What Is the Coronavirus? 10 Things to Know

By jolene
Feb 12, 2020
Medical Expert Medical Expert

The spread of a new strain of coronavirus is a major issue across the world. You’ve probably heard it discussed on the news as well as on all your social media platforms, but you may find that facts about the virus are brushed over.

Knowing more about what coronavirus is and how it is being handled by health officials around the world can give you context to help you better understand current developments. Here are 10 things to know about coronavirus as well as how to keep yourself and your family safe.

1. What Is Coronavirus?

A coronavirus is any member of a large number of diseases that fit into a category or family by that same name. Coronaviruses are named for their microscopic structure. Under a microscope, the virus appears to have a bursting corona of spike-like structures protruding from it.

The coronavirus you are hearing about in the news is a new disease fitting this criterion that hasn’t ever appeared before. It is technically referred to by the World Health Organization as 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). While being a member of the same family and exhibiting similar symptoms to other coronaviruses, this new strain originally showed up in December 2019.


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