The novel coronavirus (COVID-19)
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause illnesses ranging from a common cold to more severe conditions such as MERS or SARS. One of those viruses that have recently been identified is named COVID-19 or SARS-CoV-2. It was first detected in December 2019 in the Chinese city of Wuhan. According to the investigation of the Chinese authorities, people infected with the virus would have contracted it by consuming products (some of which are sold illegally) of animal origin from a large city market, the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market (since closed).
The transmission of this virus is likely to occur through the respiratory tract (exhalation, sneezing, coughing) and physical contact. The symptoms are similar to those of classic flu: fever, cough, breathing difficulties, muscle pain, and fatigue.
The pandemic situation in France
Although the data is changing daily, 5.7 million people infected by the COVID-19 virus have been identified in France since the beginning of the pandemic. Among them, more than 100,000 succumbed to this disease. As in many other countries, the French government is counting on its vaccination campaign to stop the epidemic.
For further information about the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, please visit our dedicated Facts and Figures page.