4. Coronavirus has a few cousins
According to a recent article from the Coronavirus Study Group (CSG) of the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses, which has not yet been peer reviewed, COVID-19 is a variant of the coronavirus that caused the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 2002-2003.
As a result, its official name is: severe acute respiratory syndrome related coronavirus 2, or SARS-CoV-2. It’s also a relative of the coronavirus Middle East respiratory syndrome, also known as MERS, which surfaced in the Middle East beginning in 2012.