Pandemic, COVID-19 and all the coronavirus terms you need to know

Updated 2119 GMT (0519 HKT) March 11, 2020

(CNN)News about the coronavirus moves so quickly, key definitions or phrases can sometimes pass you by. For instance, do you actually know what COVID-19 stands for? Or why the coronavirus is called the coronavirus? Brushing up on these terms will certainly make the avalanche of coronavirus information easier to understand. And with a crisis as widespread and complex as this, a little clarity can be a big help.

A disease cluster or infection cluster is a group of similar health events that have occurred in the same area around the same time. You may have heard some new cases of the current coronavirus described as "outbreak clusters."
Community spread is spread of a disease among a certain area, in which there is no direct knowledge of how or when someone contracted the disease. While some cases of coronavirus can be pinpointed to certain trips, associations between people or other events, instances of "community spread" are less specific and harder to trace.
The coronavirus is actually not one type of virus; it is a large family of viruses that also includes SARS and other minor to major respiratory illnesses. Coronaviruses can be spread between animals and people, as we have seen with this current strain. The term "corona," which is from a Latin root meaning crown or ring of light, refers to the shape of the virus under a microscope. (See also: novel)
COVID-19 is the specific illness related to the current epidemic. The acronym, provided by the World Health Organization, stands for "coronavirus disease 2019," referring to the year the virus was first detected. The name of the virus is SARS-CoV-2.
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