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).[6] The outbreak was identified in Wuhan, China, in December 2019.[4][7] The World Health Organization declared the outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on 30 January, and a pandemic on 11 March.[8][9] As of 9 May 2020, more than 3.95 million cases of COVID-19 have been reported in over 187 countries and territories, resulting in more than 275,000 deaths. More than 1.31 million people have recovered.[5]The virus is primarily spread between people during close contact,[c] often via small droplets produced by coughing,[d] sneezing, and talking.[10][11][13] The droplets usually fall to the ground or onto surfaces rather than remaining in the air over long distances.[10] People may also become infected by touching a contaminated surface and then touching their face.[10][11] On surfaces, the amount of virus declines over time until it is insufficient to remain infectious, but it may be detected for hours or days.[10][13][14] It is most contagious during the first three days after the onset of symptoms, although spread may be possible before symptoms appear and in later stages of the disease.[15]

Common symptoms include fever, cough, fatigueshortness of breath, and loss of smell.[10][16][17] Complications may include pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome.[18] The time from exposure to onset of symptoms is typically around five days, but may range from two to fourteen days.[19][20] There is no known vaccine or specific antiviral treatment.[10] Primary treatment is symptomatic and supportive therapy.[21]

Recommended preventive measures include hand washing, covering one’s mouth when coughing, maintaining distance from other people, wearing a face mask in public settings, and monitoring and self-isolation for people who suspect they are infected.[10][22] Authorities worldwide have responded by implementing travel restrictionslockdownsworkplace hazard controls, and facility closures. Many places have also worked to increase testing capacity and trace contacts of infected persons.

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