COVID-19: A Consumer’s Guide to the Coronavirus is committed to providing reliable information from expert sources to help guide you through the COVID-19 outbreak. Learn how to protect yourself and your loved ones from the coronavirus, and find important updates on access to medication, health insurance coverage and ways to maintain good mental health.

Covid-19 under microscopic view

Coronavirus disease 2019, also called COVID-19, is a respiratory illness that spreads between people. It’s a novel coronavirus, which means people have no immunity to it.

Researchers first discovered the virus when a pneumonia of unknown cause in the city of Wuhan in Hubei province, China, was reported to the WHO China Country Office on Dec. 31, 2019, according to the World Health Organization.

On March 11, 2020, WHO officially declared COVID-19 a pandemic, or a global outbreak of disease spread from person to person.

New viruses to which people have no immunity cause pandemics. Two other examples of pandemics are the Spanish influenza that killed approximately 50 million people in 1918 and H1N1 influenza virus in 2009.

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