Israeli Paramedics of Maguen David Adom at the coronavirus national operations center, in the central Israeli city of Kiryat Ono on February 26, 2020.

Coronavirus is a zoonotic virus that can pass between people and certain animals. A previously unrecognized form of the virus erupted among humans, in Wuhan, China in December 2019 and despite containment efforts by the Chinese, by February 29, 2020, more than 85,000 cases were reported worldwide.

>> Coronavirus tracker: Updating count of cases and deaths in Israel and worldwide

The novel species is named “SARS-CoV-2" and the disease it causes is called "COVID-19". Its origin in animals, mode of transmission and the rate of mortality it causes remain under investigation. The clinical picture of COVID-19 also remains under investigation: the range seems to be from asymptomatic infection to illness resulting in death. The most susceptible seem to be the elderly and anybody with a comprised immune system, diabetes or preexisting pulmonary disease. Although many coronaviruses originate in bats, the story that humans caught SARS-CoV-2 by eating bat soup are nonsense. The mortality rate remains unknown.