The 2019 coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, caused by the SARS-CoV-2 novel virus, originated in Wuhan, China before rapidly spreading around the world.

COVID-19 is a highly infectious respiratory disease, with a high rate of transmissibility. Symptoms of infection include fever, joint and muscle aches, respiratory distress, loss of the sense of taste, cognitive fog, fatigue, sore throat, and more. Senior citizens are most at risk of dying from the disease, though secondary pre-existing conditions like obesity can make some patients more susceptible to danger. In severe cases, patients undergo respiratory distress and require intubation on ventilators. 

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, governments have initiated several policies to prevent spread. Many countries have severely restricted flights or entry into their state, with some like Israel adopting color systems to rank the risk posed by each destination. Contact tracing has become the norm, with citizens being obligated to quarantine after they have come into contact with an infected person. Social distancing and mask mandates have also become popular in many countries to prevent spread of infection. Early in the pandemic, lockdowns were used to prevent interaction between the public, in a severe attempt to halt transmission. Perhaps most controversial were the introduction of coronavirus passports, which would allow vaccinated citizens to move freely with a new form of ID. Critics assert that coronavirus passports represent an extreme violation of liberties.

There is an ongoing debate as to the origin of the coronavirus. Initially, it was accepted that the coronavirus originated in a wet market in Wuhan, China, within bats sold as food. However, it has been suggested that the virus may have originated from a virus research lab in Wuhan.

Several pharmaceutical companies have developed innovative mRNA vaccines to counter the coronavirus. Pfizer, Biontech, Astrazeneca, Moderna, Sinopharm and others have produced vaccines, however there is ongoing debate about their efficacy against new strains of the virus. Other pharmaceutical companies have developed treatments and drugs to alleviate and combat coronavirus symptoms.

The coronavirus is prone to mutations, and has already produced several well known variants, including the Delta and Lambda strains. The pandemic and virus may also colloquially be known as corona and COVID.

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Israel sees 30% spike in daily COVID cases, Health Ministry says

However, the number of hospitalized patients has decreased in recent days.

 COVID-19 models (illustrative)

Israel's COVID chief: New variant has more than 30 mutations

Inside Israeli Innovation with Maayan Hoffman and Zachy Hennessey, Ep. 19

Are mask mandates making a return? The new variant has public health institutions worried

BA.2.86 may be more capable of causing infection in people who were previously infected with COVID-19 or received the COVID-19 vaccine.

Birds living at UCLA were less afraid of humans after lockdown - study

Research from Israel's Ben-Gurion University of the Negev looked into how the birds at the UCLA campus have changed following the COVID-19 lockdown.

CDC 'tracking' new highly-mutated COVID virus found in Israel

The WHO said that, so far, only a few sequences of the variant named BA.2.86 have been reported from a handful of countries.


Man's legs turn purple in unusual long-COVID symptom

A 33-year-old presents purple legs upon standing, revealing a unique long COVID symptom, shedding light on potential implications.


Israeli politics is sick with COVID-era short-term thinking - opinion

The treatment of COVID-19 forced us into making immediate calls, creating unprecedented changes that broke conventions and created new precedents. These are the consequences.


Think you might have COVID? Ask your dog - study

Dogs were found to be faster, more precise, and less expensive when it comes to testing COVID-19 and could have other medical applications too.

COVID variant with 'dozens of mutations' found in Israel

The significance of the variant is still unclear as other heavily mutated variants have often fizzled out.


‘COVID largely responsible for overwhelming deficits in public health funds’

The deficit of the health funds will actually worsen and is expected to lead to a cash flow problem in the fourth quarter of this year.

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