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Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a disease caused by a new coronavirus, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).
Coronaviruses are a cause of the common cold, but SARS-CoV-2, which likely came from bats, causes more severe disease in many patients.1
Symptoms occur on average about 5 days after exposure to the virus. Almost all patients develop symptoms within 12 days. Therefore, a 14-day self-isolation is recommended for people who were likely exposed to the virus. The most common symptoms are cough, fever, and shortness of breath; most patients with COVID-19 have at least 1 of these. Other common symptoms include muscle aches, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. People may also have loss or change in sense of taste and smell.2
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Wiersinga WJ, Prescott HC. What Is COVID-19? JAMA. 2020;324(8):816. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.12984
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