Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The disease was first identified in 2019 in Wuhan, the capital of China’s Hubei province, and has since spread globally, resulting in the ongoing 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic.Common symptoms include fevercough, and shortness of breath.Other symptoms may include muscle painsputum production, diarrheasore throatloss of smell, and abdominal pain. While the majority of cases result in mild symptoms, some progress to pneumonia and potentially multi-organ failure. As of March 28, 2020, the overall rate of deaths per number of diagnosed cases is 4.6 percent; ranging from 0.2 percent to 15 percent according to age group and other health problems.

The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the 2019–20 coronavirus outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) on 30 January 2020 and a pandemic on 11 March 2020. Local transmission of the disease has been recorded in many countries across all six WHO regions.

Signs and symptoms

Dry cough67.7
Sputum production33.4
Loss of smell15 to 30
Shortness of breath18.6
Muscle or joint pain14.8
Sore throat13.9
Nausea or vomiting5.0
Nasal congestion4.8
Diarrhoea3.7 to 31
Conjunctival congestion0.8

Those infected with the virus may be asymptomatic or develop flu-like symptoms, including fever, cough, fatigue, and shortness of breath. Emergency symptoms include difficulty breathing, persistent chest pain or pressure, confusion, difficulty waking, and bluish face or lips; immediate medical attention is advised if these symptoms are present. Less commonly, upper respiratory symptoms, such as sneezingrunny nose, or sore throat may be seen. Symptoms such as nauseavomiting, and diarrhea have been observed in varying percentages. Some cases in China initially presented only with chest tightness and palpitations. In March 2020 there were reports indicating that loss of the sense of smell (anosmia) may be a common symptom among those who have mild disease, although not as common as initially reported. In some, the disease may progress to pneumoniamulti-organ failure, and death. In those who develop severe symptoms, time from symptom onset to needing mechanical ventilation is typically eight days.

As is common with infections, there is a delay between the moment when a person is infected with the virus and the time when they develop symptoms. This is called the incubation period. The incubation period for COVID-19 is typically five to six days but may range from two to 14 days. 97.5% of people who develop symptoms will do so within 11.5 days of infection.