SARS-CoV-2

Authored by
Staff
Last reviewed
December 6, 2022

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2)

The coronavirus Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) was identified in China in 2019, then confirmed by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2020.

As the name indicates, this coronavirus is related to the SARS beta coronavirus (SARS-1) that caused fatal outbreaks in 2002-2003. However, it is not the same virus, says the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

In molecular epidemiology, a study published on May 4, 2021, found the progenitor genome (proCoV2) is the mother of known SARS-CoV-2 coronaviruses. These researchers estimate that the SARS-CoV-2 progenitor was in circulation several weeks before the first genome sequenced in China, known as Wuhan-1, stated Sayaka Miura, a study's senior author.

On July 22, 2022, the ‘Special Report’ anchor presented on YouTube the timeline of how U.S. government officials responded to information about coronavirus origins.

SARS-CoV-2 Variants

The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is mutating, which is expected as viruses mutate as they spread, stated the U.S. CDC. The original SARS-CoV-2 strain, detected in Wuhan, China, in December 2019, is the L virus strain. This human coronavirus (hCOV) has since mutated. 

SARS-CoV-2 Diagnostic Tests

The COVID-19 tests most people discuss are RT-PCR, the nasal-swab test that detects viral RNA, and various antibody tests that see if you have an immune response due to past exposure to the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The first SARS-CoV-2 test kits under a EUA were distributed on February 7, 2020. For updated coronavirus test news, please visit 'Tests.'

SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus FAQs

NOTE: This page's content is sourced from the CDC, WHO, clinicaltrials.gov, and the Precision Vax network of websites. Healthcare providers fact-checked this information.