Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19

COVID-19 is a contagious disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

COVID-19 most often causes respiratory symptoms similar to a cold, influenza (flu), or pneumonia but can also affect other parts of your body. Most people with COVID-19 have mild symptoms, but some people become severely ill.

More than 1 million people have died from COVID-19 in the US since the virus first emerged in Wuhan, China in December 2019. On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization characterized the outbreak as a pandemic.

Coronavirus disease digital illustration






COVID-19 Variants

Updated June 2024

Sources: American Academy of Pediatrics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Food and Drug Administration

Learn more about coronaviruses at

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