The novel coronavirus, first discovered with a viral pneumonia case in 2019, is a new strain of coronavirus that had never been found in humans before. The coronaviruses already known can cause cold or Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and other diseases of varying degrees.
On February 8, 2020, China’s National Health Commission temporarily named the pneumonia infected by the novel coronavirus as “novel coronavirus pneumonia” in Chinese. The commission issued the Guidelines on the Novel Coronavirus-Infected Pneumonia Diagnosis and Treatment (Provisional 6th Edition) on February 19, pointing out that respiratory droplets and close unprotected contacts are the main routes of transmission, and that transmission through aerosols is possible in the case of long-term exposure to high concentration aerosols in a relatively closed environment. The main signs and symptoms of the infected people include fever, dry cough and fatigue, and the incubation period varies from 1 to 14 days. Currently there is no vaccine available against the disease.
The WHO temporarily named the new virus as “2019-nCoV” on January 12, and officially named the pneumonia infected by the virus “COVID-19” on February 11. “CO” stands for corona, “VI” for virus, “D” for disease, and “19” for the year 2019 in which the disease was first discovered.