You've probably seen the words "coronavirus" and "COVID-19" all over the news and social media. Perhaps you've even seen COVID-19 warning signs at local restaurants, hospitals, and other businesses. But what exactly is COVID-19, anyway?
The term "COVID-19"is simply an acronym for the [CO]rona[VI]rus [D]isease of 20. The name "coronavirus" actually comes from the Latin word "corona", which means "crown". The virus was given this name due to its crown-like appearance when viewed under a microscope.
There are many kinds of coronaviruses, but according to the CDC, the "Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. The virus that causes COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus that was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China."
Though coronaviruses are common in animals, it is unclear how COVID-19 was first contracted by humans. It is also unclear where exactly in Wuhan the virus was contracted, though there have been hypotheses that it may be linked to a seafood market.