The recent news coverage of the coronavirus has been primarily driven by the global outbreak of a novel coronavirus, known as SARS-CoV-2, which causes the respiratory illness COVID-19. The virus was first identified in Wuhan, China, in December 2019, and has since spread to become a global pandemic. The rapid transmission of the virus, its impact on public health, and the measures taken by governments and health organizations to control its spread have been prominent features in the news.
Coronaviruses are a group of RNA viruses that cause diseases in mammals and birds. In humans and birds, they cause respiratory tract infections that can range from mild to lethal. Mild illnesses in humans include some cases of the common cold, while more severe varieties can cause SARS, MERS, and COVID-19. The virus is primarily spread through respiratory droplets and contact with contaminated surfaces. The ongoing research, public health measures, and global response to the COVID-19 pandemic have been central topics in recent news coverage.