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Parents’ Top Questions About the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

This page was updated on April 10, 2020. Due to the shifting nature of the coronavirus pandemic, recommendations can change quickly. Please follow all rules and guidelines set by state and local public health and safety authorities. Reference the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) for immediate updates on COVID-19.


With the new coronavirus in the spotlight for media attention and public concern, we asked one of our experts to answer parents' common questions about the respiratory illness. Here's what Chris Nyquist, MD, MSPHSean O’Leary, MD, MPH, and Lalit Bajaj, MD, MPH, infectious diseases and emergency medicine specialists at Children's Hospital Colorado, had to say.


What is this new coronavirus?


The clinical name for the illness caused by this new coronavirus is COVID-19. The virus itself has been called SARS-CoV-2, and you may see all of these terms used in the news. This virus was identified as the cause of a respiratory illness outbreak first detected in China in December 2019. The CDC has the most updated information on cases and fatalities in the United States.


SARS-CoV-2 is a new virus that has not been previously identified in the human population. Early studies suggest that it likely originated from a bat virus.


View more of the top questions parents have about COVID-19.

Additional resources for coronavirus information