What Does ’19’ In COVID-19 Stand For?
At the beginning of our current health problem (pandemic), we were introduced to the word Coronavirus. The name Coronavirus has been around since the 1930s when the virus was first discovered in domesticated chickens. Fast-forward to 2020 and Coronavirus has turned into COVID-19. So what exactly does the '19' mean?
The simple explanation is this. In February of 2019, the World Health Organization officially started referring to the Coronavirus as COVID-19. That simply means 'coronavirus disease 2019'. The World Health Organization also decided to use all capital letters in the new name, COVID-19.
COVID-19 is a distant relative of SARS-CoV from 2003. However, SARS-CoV from 2003 evolved and mutated into a new virus that creates COVID-19. So in addition to renaming Coronavirus, the World Health Organization has officially named the father virus of COVID-19 to SARS-Cov-2.
Coronaviruses are RNA viruses that cause diseases in mammals and birds. In humans, the viruses cause respiratory tract infections. These infections can be mild to deadly as we've seen recently. These viruses should be taken seriously and precautionary measures should be taken to avoid catching and/or spreading any RNA virus.
In a press conference Tuesday, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards has decided to move Louisiana to 'Phase One' of the COVID-19 pandemic starting Friday. The stay-at-home policy will remain in place until then. Although the state will begin to reopen, the process will be slow. Until Louisiana is back on its feet, Edwards urged the citizens of Louisiana to continue to wear masks, maintain a social distance of 6 feet or more and remember to wash hands.