Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is caused by a new coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. Because it is a new virus, scientists are learning more each day. Although most people who have COVID-19 have mild symptoms, COVID-19 can also cause severe illness and even death. Some groups, including older adults and people who have certain underlying medical conditions, are at increased risk of severe illness.
About the Name On February 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced an official name for the disease that is causing the 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak. The new name of this disease is coronavirus 2019, abbreviated as COVID-19. In COVID-19, "CO' stands for 'corona,' 'VI' for 'virus,' and 'D' for 'disease.' Formerly, this disease was referred to as "2019 novel coronavirus" or "2019-nCoV."
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)