Posted by: brr0603 | February 24, 2020

COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

COVID-19 (novel Coronavirus) photo from the CDC

Eckert, A.., Higgins, D., & Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2020). Image ID 23311, Retrieved 02/21/2020, from:

Updated 6/17/20

COVID-19 is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation.  Stay up to date with the latest information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health.

Background: COVID-19 is a new type of coronavirus discovered in Wuhan, China in late 2019. The World Health Organization officially named the disease, COVID-19, on February 11, 2020.

  • What does COVID-19 stand for: “Co” stands for “corona”, “vi” for “virus”,  “d” for “disease”, and “19” for the year (2019) the outbreak was first discovered.

What is COVID-19:  COVID-19 is a type of coronavirus.  Coronaviruses are named after this type of virus’s appearance.  Coronaviruses are common in many different animals.  Coronaviruses can sometimes be spread to humans. The SARS and MERS outbreaks are other types of coronaviruses that had similar symptoms to COVID-19.  Symptoms can include fever, cough, and shortness of breath.

What should I do if I think I may be infected: you should contact your doctor or local health department to discuss next steps.


Originally written February 24, 2020, by Grace Pelak, Graduate Research Assistant | Health Sciences Library and MPH Candidate 2021 | Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Updated 6/17/20 by Barbara Rochen Renner, PhD, one of the librarians at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Health Sciences Library.


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