SARS-CoV-2 is the scientific name given by the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses to the virus that causes the disease Covid-19 or coronavirus disease 2019.
SARS-CoV-2 is a coronavirus that shares similarities but major clinical differences in disease presentation from SARS. It is a betacoronavirus that originates in bats, and is thought to have undergone mutation in an unknown host to allow it to jump to humans. The virus latches on to the ACE2 surface receptor which is widely found in various human tissues and enters the cell with the receptor depriving the body the ability to protect against respiratory failure. This leads to the characteristic of Sudden Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome.