Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS‑CoV‑2), also known as the coronavirus, is the virus that causes COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019), the respiratory illness responsible for the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The virus was previously referred to by its provisional name, 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), and has also been called human coronavirus 2019 (HCoV-19 or hCoV-19).
First identified in the city of Wuhan, Hubei, China, the World Health Organization declared the outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on 30 January 2020, and a pandemic on 11 March 2020.
SARS‑CoV‑2 is a positive-sense single-stranded RNA virus that is contagious in humans.
As described by the US National Institutes of Health, it is the successor to SARS-CoV-1, the virus that caused the 2002–2004 SARS outbreak.
Source :: wikipedia