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Formerly referred to as the "2019 novel coronavirus" or "2019-nCoV," COVID-19 is one of many types of human coronaviruses that may cause mild upper-respiratory tract illnesses.

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Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the "CO" in COVID-19 stands for "corona," "VI" for "virus," and "D" for disease. In a small percentage of cases, particularly among the immunocompromised, this disease can lead to death. This particular illness spread throughout the world beginning in 2019. Insurance claims seeking coverage for damages as a result of the virus have been made under many different lines of insurance—for example, commercial property, workers compensation, commercial liability, event cancellation, and travel insurance, with varying degrees of success.