COVID-19 pandemic

COVID‑19 pandemic
COVID-19 Outbreak World Map Total Deaths per Capita.svg
Confirmed deaths per 1,000,000 population
as of 9 February 2021
Cases per capita
COVID-19 Outbreak World Map per Capita.svg
Percentage of population confirmed infected as of 3 March 2021
  •   >10%
  •   3–10%
  •   1–3%
  •   0.3–1%
  •   0.1–0.3%
  •   0.03–0.1%
  •   0–0.03%
  •   None or no data
Daily new cases
Daily new cases COVID-19 map.svg
Daily new cases as of 7 December 2020
(7 day rolling average)
A nurse caring for a patient with COVID‑19 in an intensive care unit
Meeting of the Italian government task force to face the coronavirus outbreak, 23 February 2020
Watson queue for face masks in Hong Kong
Burial in Hamadan, Iran
Workers unloading boxes of medical supplies at Villamor Air Base
Clockwise from top:
DiseaseCoronavirus disease 2019 (COVID‑19)
Virus strainSevere acute respiratory syndrome
coronavirus 2
SourceLikely via bats[1][2]
First outbreakWuhan, China[3]
Index caseWuhan, Hubei, China
30°37′11″N 114°15′28″E / 30.61972°N 114.25778°E / 30.61972; 114.25778
DateDecember 2019 (2019-12)[3] – present
(1 year, 3 months and 6 days)
Confirmed cases116,600,908[4]
Suspected casesPossibly 10% of the global population, or 780 million people (WHO estimate as of early October 2020)[5]
Suspected cases have not been confirmed by laboratory tests as being due to this strain, although some other strains may have been ruled out.

The COVID-19 pandemic, also known as the coronavirus pandemic, is an ongoing pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). It was first identified in December 2019 in Wuhan, China. The World Health Organization declared the outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern in January 2020 and a pandemic in March 2020. As of 7 March 2021, more than 116 million cases have been confirmed, with more than 2.58 million deaths attributed to COVID-19, making it one of the deadliest pandemics in history.

Symptoms of COVID-19 are highly variable, ranging from none to life-threatening illness. The virus spreads mainly through the air when people are near each other.[b] It leaves an infected person as they breathe, cough, sneeze, or speak and enters another person via their mouth, nose, or eyes. It may also spread via contaminated surfaces. People remain infectious for up to two weeks, and can spread the virus even if they do not show symptoms.[9][10]

Recommended preventive measures include social distancing, wearing face masks in public, ventilation and air-filtering, hand washing, covering one's mouth when sneezing or coughing, disinfecting surfaces, and monitoring and self-isolation for people exposed or symptomatic. Several vaccines are being developed and distributed. Current treatments focus on addressing symptoms while work is underway to develop therapeutic drugs that inhibit the virus. Authorities worldwide have responded by implementing travel restrictions, lockdowns, workplace hazard controls, and facility closures. Many places have also worked to increase testing capacity and trace contacts of the infected.[10]

The responses to the pandemic have resulted in significant global social and economic disruption, including the largest global recession since the Great Depression.[11] It has led to the postponement or cancellation of events, widespread supply shortages exacerbated by panic buying, agricultural disruption and food shortages, and decreased emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases. Many educational institutions and public areas have been partially or fully closed. Misinformation has circulated through social media and mass media. The pandemic has raised issues of racial and geographic discrimination, health equity, and the balance between public health imperatives and individual rights.

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  1. ^ Cite error: The named reference reuters223180 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  2. ^ Cite error: The named reference pang was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  3. ^ a b "Novel Coronavirus – China". World Health Organization (WHO). Retrieved 9 April 2020.
  4. ^ a b c "COVID-19 Dashboard by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University (JHU)". ArcGIS. Johns Hopkins University. Retrieved 7 March 2021.
  5. ^ "WHO: 10% of world's people may have been infected with virus". AP NEWS. 5 October 2020. Retrieved 12 November 2020.
  6. ^ CDC. "Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)". Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved 22 October 2020.
  7. ^ "Quarantine for coronavirus (COVID-19)". Australian Government Department of Health. Retrieved 25 September 2020.
  8. ^ "How COVID-19 Spreads". U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 18 September 2020. Archived from the original on 19 September 2020. Retrieved 20 September 2020.
  9. ^ CDC (11 February 2020). "Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)". Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved 6 December 2020.
  10. ^ a b "Coronavirus (COVID-19): General advice". Retrieved 17 February 2021.
  11. ^ "The Great Lockdown: Worst Economic Downturn Since the Great Depression". IMF Blog. Retrieved 23 April 2020.

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