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What are coronaviruses?

What are coronaviruses?

Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases. A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.

What causes COVID-19?

COVID-19 is caused by infection with the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) virus strain.

Where was COVID-19 first discovered?

The first known infections from SARS-CoV-2 were discovered in Wuhan, China. The original source of viral transmission to humans remains unclear, as does whether the virus became pathogenic before or after the spillover event.

When did the coronavirus disease receive its name?

The International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV) announced “severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)” as the name of the new virus on 11 February 2020. This name was chosen because the virus is genetically related to the coronavirus responsible for the SARS outbreak of 2003. While related, the two viruses are different.

What are the known coronaviruses that can infect people?

Human coronaviruses are capable of causing illnesses ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS, fatality rate ~34%). SARS-CoV-2 is the seventh known coronavirus to infect people, after 229E, NL63, OC43, HKU1, MERS-CoV, and the original SARS-CoV.

How long have coronaviruses existed?

The most recent common ancestor (MRCA) of all coronaviruses is estimated to have existed as recently as 8000 BCE, although some models place the common ancestor as far back as 55 million years or more, implying long term coevolution with bat and avian species.

Is COVID-19 caused by a virus or a bacteria?

The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is caused by a virus, NOT by bacteria.

In what conditions does COVID-19 survive the longest?

Coronaviruses die very quickly when exposed to the UV light in sunlight. Like other enveloped viruses, SARS-CoV-2 survives longest when the temperature is at room temperature or lower, and when the relative humidity is low (<50%).

Can the coronavirus survive on surfaces?

It is not certain how long the virus that causes COVID-19 survives on surfaces, but it seems likely to behave like other coronaviruses. A recent review of the survival of human coronaviruses on surfaces found large variability, ranging from 2 hours to 9 days (11).The survival time depends on a number of factors, including the type of surface, temperature, relative humidity and specific strain of the virus.

Who issued the official name of COVID-19?

The official names COVID-19 and SARS-CoV-2 were issued by the WHO on 11 February 2020.

How do viruses get their name?

Viruses are named based on their genetic structure to facilitate the development of diagnostic tests, vaccines and medicines. Virologists and the wider scientific community do this work, so viruses are named by the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV).

What is the meaning of SARS‐CoV‐2?

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS‐CoV‐2), also known as the coronavirus, is the virus that causes COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019), the respiratory illness responsible for the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.