What Is Coronavirus?

Coronavirus is a common type of virus that causes illnesses in both birds and mammals.

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Coronavirus is a common type of virus that causes illnesses in both birds and mammals. In human beings, they can cause respiratory infections that are mild such as a common cold. However, rare types of coronaviruses, like SARS-CoV (Severe-Acute-Respiratory-Syndrome) can be very dangerous. Coronaviruses belong to the family Coronaviridae. The term ‘’coronaviruses’’ is derived from the Latin name ‘’corona’’ which means ‘’crown’’.


These viruses, including the IBV (infectious bronchitis virus), were first discovered during the 1960s in chickens and two other types of coronaviruses from individuals with a common cold. The first coronaviruses to be discovered in humans include Human Coronavirus OC43 and Human Coronavirus 229E. Other coronaviruses that have been found in human beings include 2019-nCoV (2019), and Middle-East-Respiratory-Syndrome-Coronavirus (2012), Human Coronavirus-HKUI (2005), Human Coronavirus-NL63 (2004), and SARS-CoV (2003). 

Human Coronaviruses

Coronaviruses can be transmitted between people and animals. These viruses cause the common cold in humans, particularly in early spring and winter with major symptoms like swollen pharyngeal tonsils and fevers. They can also cause bronchitis and pneumonia. The most publicized coronaviruses (SARS-CoV) causes lower and upper-respiratory-tract infections. 

The Most Dangerous Human Coronaviruses


After the outbreak of the SARS in Asia in 2013, WHO issued a press release confirming that several laboratories had discovered a new type of coronavirus which they named SARS-CoV. The virus had affected over 8,000 people on the planet. About 10% of infected individuals died. SARS-CoV is believed to have been transmitted from civet cats to human beings.

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome

According to the first press release by WHO, this virus, which was found in September 2012, could not easily be passed from one person to the other. A case of person-to-person transmission was first reported on May 12, 2013, in France. Other cases of transmission were reported in Tunisia. Two of the confirmed infections were of two individuals who got the illness from their deceased father, who became sick after visiting Saudi Arabia and Qatar. By October 2013, there were 52 deaths and 124 cases reported in Saudi Arabia. In the U.S., only two cases of this coronavirus were reported. As of 2019, 2,468 cases of infections had been confirmed on the planet, and 851 were fatal.

2019-nCoV (Novel Coronavirus)

The latest case of the coronavirus epidemic was reported in Wuhan, China in late 2019. The virus causing the epidemic was named 2019-nCoV by WHO. By January 28, 2020, over 5,570 cases of coronavirus pneumonia outbreak had been confirmed and more than 130 deaths reported. The strain from Wuhan was identified as a new type of beta-coronavirus. Novel coronavirus was initially believed to have been transmitted from a snake to human beings; however, several top scientists disagree with this assumption. 

Symptoms and Prevention

Some of the common symptoms of this illness associated with coronavirus infections include breathing difficulties, shortness of breath, coughing, and fever. In severe cases, coronaviruses can cause kidney failure, SARS, pneumonia, and even death. There is no antiviral drug or vaccine approved for dealing with coronaviruses. Therefore some of the most common recommendation for preventing the virus from spreading includes covering the nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing, and regularly washing your hands.



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