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On February 11, 2020 the World Health Organization announced an official name for the disease that is causing the current outbreak of coronavirus disease, COVID-19. CDC will be updating our website and other CDC materials to reflect the updated name.

Laboratory Work

On February 11, 2020, the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses, charged with naming new viruses, named the virus causing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, shortened to SARS-CoV-2.

As the name indicates, the virus is related to the sars-associated coronavirus (SARS-CoV) that caused an outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 2002-2003, however it is not the same virus.

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CDC Tests for COVID-19
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CDC Grows SARS-CoV-2 Virus in Cell Culture