Coronavirus is not the name of a single virus. Coronaviruses are a family of respiratory viruses, named for the crown-like spikes on their surface. The virus may cause illness in both animals and humans. Coronaviruses are highly contagious and can spread from human to human. They are notorious to mutate quickly and acquire new qualities. Coronaviruses can cause diseases ranging from the common cold to life-threatening pneumonitis/Lower respiratory tract infections, especially in vulnerable populations.
In humans, several coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The novel Coronavirus, now renamed as COVID-19 or SARS CoV-2 is a new strain of coronavirus that has not been previously identified in humans.
Why is it called COVID-19?
Covid-19 (Coronavirus disease-19) is the official name given to the novel coronavirus disease under commonly agreed guidelines between WHO, the World Organization for Animal Health, and the Food and Agricultural Organization of the UN. It was earlier being called 2019-nCoV.