Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)
BMJ Best Practice
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Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an infectious acute respiratory disease caused by a novel coronavirus. The World Health Organization (WHO) was informed of cases of pneumonia of unknown microbial aetiology associated with Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China on 31 December 2019. The WHO later announced that a novel coronavirus had been detected in samples taken from these patients. Since then, the epidemic has escalated and rapidly spread around the world, with the WHO first declaring a public health emergency of international concern on 30 January 2020, and then formally declaring it a pandemic on 11 March 2020. Clinical trials and investigations to learn more about the virus, its origin, how it affects humans, and its management are ongoing.