Coronavirus is a family of viruses that can cause symptoms of a common cold, but can also cause more severe respiratory infections.
Severe cases were seen due to infections with the SARS-coronavirus (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), which caused a large disease outbreak in 2003, and the MERS-coronavirus (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome), which has been the cause of severe pulmonary infections on the Arabian peninsula since 2012.
The outbreak with novel coronavirus started in China in December 2019, and spread quickly to neighbouring countries and subsequently to the rest of the world, including Czech Republic. WHO declared the situation to be a pandemic on 11 March 2020, meaning an epidemic on several continents.
WHO named the disease caused by the novel coronavirus COVID-19 (Corona Virus Disease 2019).