On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) a global pandemic. COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The disease was first identified in December 2019 in Wuhan, Hubei, China, and has progressively spread globally resulting in the current pandemic.
Common symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, and shortness of breath or difficulty breathing. Other symptoms may include chills, repeated shaking with chills, fatigue, muscle pain, sore throat, a new loss of taste or smell, diarrhea and abdominal pain. The time from exposure to onset of symptoms is five days on average but may range from two to fourteen days. While the majority of cases result in no or mild symptoms, some progress to more severe symptoms that may include viral pneumonia and multi-organ failure. The SARS-CoV-2 virus is thought to spread from person to person in close contact through respiratory droplets, although some spread may also secondarily occur from touching contaminated public surfaces. It is highly contagious and recent evidence suggests that there may be significant numbers of infected but asymptomatic people that can unintentionally spread the virus.
Johns Hopkins University maintains a helpful resource center that includes global statistics on the pandemic, including an up to date case tracker. The site, not affiliated with AP2, can be viewed at https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/