Coronaviruses are large families of viruses that can be common in people and in many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats. Coronaviruses rarely infect people and spread all over. Unfortunately this new coronavirus, COVID-19, has been affecting people and has been spreading like crazy.
COVID-19 was first discovered in China and, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it has now been detected in almost 70 locations internationally including the United States. The virus has been named “SARS-CoV-2” and the disease it causes has been named “coronavirus disease 2019” (abbreviated “COVID-19”).
CDC stated that on January 30, 2020, the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee of the World Health Organization declared the outbreak a public health emergency of international concern. On January 31, 2020, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex M. Azar II declared a public health emergency (PHE) for the United States to aid the nation’s healthcare community in responding to COVID-19.
During the week of February 23, CDC reported community spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 in California (in two places), Oregon and Washington. Community spread in Washington resulted in the first death in the United States from this virus, as well as the first reported case of COVID-19 in a health care worker and the first potential outbreak in a long-term care facility.