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COVID-19 pandemic

Pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The COVID-19 pandemic, also known as the coronavirus pandemic, is a global pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The novel virus was first identified in an outbreak in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December 2019. Attempts to contain it there failed, allowing the virus to spread to other areas of Asia and later worldwide. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC) on 30 January 2020, and began referring to it as a pandemic on 11 March 2020. As of 2 June 2023, the pandemic had caused 767,364,119[3] cases and 6,938,340[3] confirmed deaths, making it one of the deadliest in history.

Quick facts: COVID-19 pandemic, Cases per capita, Disease...
COVID-19 pandemic
Medical professionals treating a COVID-19 patient in critical condition in an intensive care unit in São Paulo in May 2020
Confirmed deaths per 100,000 population
as of 19 May 2023
Cases per capita
Cumulative percentage of population infected
as of 19 March 2022
  •   >10%
  •   3–10%
  •   1–3%
  •   0.3–1%
  •   0.1–0.3%
  •   0.03–0.1%
  •   0–0.03%
  •   None or no data
DiseaseCoronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)
Virus strainSevere acute respiratory syndrome
coronavirus 2
SourceBats,[1] likely indirectly[2]
Index caseWuhan, China
30°37′11″N 114°15′28″E
DateFirst case of COVID-19: 17 November 2019
Public health emergency of international concern: 30 January 2020 – 5 May 2023 (3 years, 3 months and 5 days)
Confirmed cases767,364,119[3]
6,938,340[3] (reported)
16.9–30 million[4] (estimated)
Fatality rate1.02%[5]

COVID-19 symptoms range from undetectable to deadly, but most commonly include fever, dry cough, and fatigue. Severe illness is more likely in elderly patients and those with certain underlying medical conditions. COVID-19 transmits when people breathe in air contaminated by droplets and small airborne particles containing the virus. The risk of breathing these in is highest when people are in close proximity, but they can be inhaled over longer distances, particularly indoors. Transmission can also occur if contaminated fluids reach the eyes, nose, or mouth, or, more rarely, through contaminated surfaces. Infected individuals are typically contagious for 10 days and can spread the virus even if they do not develop symptoms. Mutations have produced many strains (variants) with varying degrees of infectivity and virulence.[6]

The COVID-19 vaccines have been approved and widely distributed in various countries since December 2020. According to a June 2022 study, COVID-19 vaccines prevented an additional 14.4 million to 19.8 million deaths in 185 countries and territories from 8 December 2020 to 8 December 2021.[7][8] Other preventive measures include social distancing, wearing masks, improving ventilation and air filtration, and quarantining those who have been exposed or are infected. Treatments include novel antiviral drugs and symptom control. Common public health mitigation measures during the emergency phase included travel restrictions, lockdowns, business restrictions and closures, workplace hazard controls, mask mandates, quarantines, testing systems, and contact tracing of the infected, which, together with treatments, served to bring about the control of the pandemic.

The pandemic has triggered severe social and economic disruption around the world, including the largest global recession since the Great Depression.[9] Widespread supply shortages, including food shortages, were caused by supply chain disruptions and panic buying. Reduced human activity led to an unprecedented decrease in pollution. Educational institutions and public areas were partially or fully closed in many jurisdictions, and many events were cancelled or postponed during 2020 and 2021. Many white-collar workers began working from home. Misinformation has circulated through social media and mass media, and political tensions have intensified. The pandemic has raised issues of racial and geographic discrimination, health equity, and the balance between public health imperatives and individual rights.

The WHO ended its declaration of COVID-19 being a PHEIC on 5 May 2023, but continued to refer to it as a pandemic. Prior to this, some countries had already transitioned their public health approach towards regarding COVID-19 as an endemic disease.[10][11][12]