COVID-2019 is a respiratory infection caused by a novel (new) virus that arose from the area of Wuhan, China in December, 2019. Most of the early cases of this illness were linked to a large seafood and animal market suggesting possible animal-to-person spread of the virus. The market closed on January 2, 2020 as part of the investigation and response to this outbreak. Once a person is infected, the virus causes respiratory illness. Outbreaks of novel virus infections among people are always of public health concern. The risk from these outbreaks depends on the characteristics of the virus, including how well it spreads between people, the severity of the resulting illness, and the medical or other measures available to control the impact of the virus (for example, medications or vaccines).
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