Coronavirus – About Coronaviruses
Coronavirus are a group of related viruses that cause diseases in mammals and birds.
Other causes of Coronaviruses
In humans, coronaviruses cause respiratory tract infections that can be mild, such as some cases of the common cold (among other possible causes, predominantly rhinoviruses), and others that can be lethal, such as SARS, MERS, and COVID-19.
Why is it called “Coronavirus”?
The name “Coronavirus” is derived from the Latin word “corona”, meaning “crown” or “halo”, which refers to the characteristic appearance reminiscent of a crown or a solar corona around the virions (virus particles) when viewed under two-dimensional transmission electron microscopy, due to the surface covering in club-shaped protein spikes.
When Coronaviruses first identified?
Human coronaviruses were first identified in the mid-1960s.
Why is it called “Novel Coronavirus” or nCoV?
It is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans. Novel represents that it is a newly identified type of coronavirus that never been found before.
Coronavirus Vaccine and Antiviral Drugs
Coronaviruses are yet to be vaccines or antiviral drugs to prevent or treat infections on humans, as on 22nd March 2020.
How it affects Animals?
Symptoms in other animals vary. Coronaviruses cause an upper respiratory tract disease in chickens. They cause diarrhea in cows and pigs.
Categorization under Medical Subject Headings (MeSH)
Organisms > Viruses > Vertebrate Viruses > RNA Viruses > Nidovirales > Coronaviridae > Coronavirus
Diseases > Virus Diseases > RNA Virus Infections > Nidovirales Infections > Coronaviridae Infections > Coronavirus Infections
Geographic Locations > Asia > Far East > China
There seven coronaviruses that can infect humans and are classified as four main sub-groupings of coronaviruses, known as alpha, beta, gamma, and delta.
Common Human Coronaviruses
Common coronaviruses infections are common on humans. Globally people get infected with human coronaviruses 229E, NL63, OC43, and HKU1.
- 229E (alpha)
- NL63 (alpha)
- OC43 (beta)
- HKU1 (beta)
Severe Human Coronaviruses
However, sometime coronaviruses that infect animals can evolve and become a new mutated virus that infects humans. This mutation or evolution of coronaviruses are severe in effect. Three recent examples of this are 2019-nCoV, SARS-CoV, and MERS-CoV.
- MERS-CoV (causes Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, or MERS)
- SARS-CoV (causes Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or SARS)
- SARS-CoV-2 (causes Coronavirus Disease 2019, or COVID-19)