It spreads the same way other coronaviruses do, mainly through person-to-person contact. Infections range from mild to serious.
SARS-CoV-2 is one of seven types of coronavirus, including the ones that cause severe diseases like Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and sudden acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). The other coronaviruses cause most of the colds that affect us during the year but aren’t a serious threat for otherwise healthy people.
In early 2020, after a December 2019 outbreak in China, the World Health Organization identified SARS-CoV-2 as a new type of coronavirus. The outbreak quickly spread around the world.