COVID-19 is a respiratory illness caused by a coronavirus named SARS-CoV-2. There are many types of coronaviruses and, typically, they cause mild illnesses, like the common cold, in humans. However, some coronaviruses can lead to more severe respiratory illnesses, such as SARS, MERS, and, now, COVID-19. While COVID-19 produces little to no symptoms in some of the people it infects, it can lead to death in severe cases.

According to the World Health Organization’s website, it’s not yet possible to determine how SARS-CoV-2 first infected people. Since this initial outbreak, however, the pandemic has taken tens of thousands of lives and caused countries around the world to enact unprecedented measures to try to contain it.  

Below, you’ll find a timeline that contains the major events of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as a map that shows how it spread over the 12 days that we blogged.

After the map, you’ll find some links to credible sources of information on COVID-19.

There are two dates where confirmed COVID-19 cases are mapped below, March 18th and March 29th. Select the date at the top of the map, and hover over an individual country to see the numbers of cases. As identified in the legend at the bottom of the map, the more cases of COVID-19, the redder the country appears on the map.

COVID-19 confirmed cases

Trusted sources for information on COVID-19:

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