What is the difference Between CoronaVirus and COVID-19

You probably have heard of the new coronavirus disease currently ravaging the world. You have also heard of the term COVID-19 a lot this same season and on the same context. If you have not heard of them, then you probably just crawled out of a cave, and it’s advisable you crawl back to where you are coming from as it’s currently not safe out here.

Now, what is coronavirus? And what is COVID-19? Is it really the Coronavirus that is ravaging the world or the COVID-19?

Is there really any difference between the coronavirus and the COVID-19? Should we continue using both interchangeably like most writers have been doing this season?

This article discusses the two most popular words in the world right now, and highlight the differences (if any) between them.

What is CoronaVirus?

Coronaviruses refer to a group of viruses that are known to cause respiratory issues. So even though many are referring to the illness circling around right now as “coronavirus,” that’s not actually the name of the disease. Coronavirus is simply the organism that causes the disease, not the disease itself.

The symptoms of infections caused by coronaviruses can range from being mild ― like the common cold ― to more serious symptoms that can lead to hospitalization, like lung problems.

Some examples of previous coronaviruses include Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).

What is the COVID-19?

COVID-19 stands for Coronavirus Disease 2019, which describes the coronavirus disease outbreak which was first recorded in Wuhan, China in November 2019. It is the current pandemic ravaging most of the planet, and it’s actually the right word for the disease many just identify as coronavirus.

COVID-19 can lead to major health problems like pneumonia and organ failure, and it can also cause issues like shortness of breath and fever. People who are at the highest risk for severe complications from COVID-19 are those who are over the age of 65, anyone who may be immuno compromised — like persons living with HIV, and those with chronic medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes and lung disease.

COVID-19 is mainly spread person to person, likely through respiratory droplets when someone coughs or sneezes. Transmission can happen when people are in close contact with one another, usually up to about six feet. COVID-19 can also live on metal, wood, or plastic surfaces for days.


Taking a clue from what we’ve learnt above, the concept of coronavirus is not new unlike the COVID-19. Coronavirus referrs to a group of viruses that have always been here with us. And there is not even a single coronavirus. Coronaviruses are a group of viruses that are known to cause respiratory sicknesses.

COVID-19 is a disease caused by a coronavirus found in wild animals that has recently been established to be capable of living in human system. This disease was transmitted from animal to human, and was first recorded towards the end of 2019, unlike the coronaviruses that scientists have for long been aware of its existence, and hence its name: COVID-19, or Coronavirus Disease 2019.


The difference between coronavirus and COVID-19 is simply the difference between HIV and AIDS.  While one refers to the pathogen, the other refers to the disease caused by the pathogen. In this case, coronavirus is the pathogen while COVID-19 is the disease.

There are however other diseases caused by coronavirus which explains why health professionals decided to refer to the coronavirus disease that was first recorded in 2019 as COVID-19 to easily identify it among other diseases caused by a coronavirus.

Other coronavirus infections include Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).

Don’t be like everybody else, and stop using Coronavirus and COVID-19 interchangeably. There is actually a difference between the two. Basically, Coronavirus is a pathogen while COVID-19 is the disease caused by the pathogen.


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