Coronavirus vs. COVID-19: The Difference


COVID-19 is not the first Coronavirus the world has seen. However, the virus is becoming one of the deadliest Coronaviruses.

Lauren Klemowich, Staff Writer

The virus COVID-19 has devastated the entire world, with 168,758 deaths worldwide as of April 20th, according to When describing the deadly virus, the words Coronavirus or COVID-19 are used. However, these are two different terms.

The term Coronavirus is used as a general term to describe a family of viruses that can cause illnesses such as the common cold or respiratory tract infections. What connects all the different Coronaviruses is their similar structure which consists of crown-like spikes on their surface.

A new type of Coronavirus can emerge when the viruses from animals cross over to humans. Many animals including dogs, cats, pigs, rabbits, and other animals all carry Coronaviruses. The viruses that jump from animals to humans have been found to cause serious illnesses due to the lack of immunity within humans.

The new virus that has taken over the world, COVID-19,  is not the first coronavirus the world has seen in humans. MERs-COv is another deadly coronavirus that caused MERS, killing over 800 people since the virus first appeared in 2012. Humans actually have six other coronaviruses that can infect them. Four of these cause the common cold. 

With MERs, the virus was able to infect humans and cause disease, however, it did not spread well between people, limiting the number of cases. On the other hand, COVID-19 has been able to adapt. The virus spreads easily between people and many have mild to no symptoms when they have the virus.

COVID-19 has now spread to every continent except for Antarctica, becoming a serious problem for the world. A vaccine is not seen to be coming until a year from now which leads to many unknowns about the world’s future. Taking precautions like staying at home and not gathering in large groups will hopefully slow the spread of COVID-19.

For more information on COVID-19, check out the CDC website at