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Coronavirus disease

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Structural view of a coronavirus
Symptoms of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).[1][2]

A coronavirus disease (COVID /ˈkvɪd, ˈkɒvɪd/),[3][4][5] coronavirus respiratory syndrome, coronavirus pneumonia, coronavirus flu, or any other variant, is a disease caused by members of the coronavirus (CoV) family.

Coronaviruses cause different coronavirus diseases including severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS),[6] and coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).[7] Some strains of coronaviruses can also cause the common cold.[8][9][10][11]

The 2019–20 coronavirus outbreak, caused by COVID-19, was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) on 11 March 2020.[12] Local transmission of the disease has been recorded in many countries across all six WHO regions.[13] COVID-19 is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.[7] SARS-CoV-2 is the third zoonotic coronavirus to be identified, after SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV. As of September 16, 2020 WHO reported 29,444,198 confirmed cases and 931,321 COVID-19 deaths across the world.


Corona is derived from Latin corōna, meaning "crown, garland";[14] Virus also comes from Latin, where it means "slimy liquid" or "poison".[15]

Human coronavirus diseases

Coronavirus disease was first discovered in humans in the 1930s.[16] The virus, Human coronavirus 229E (HCoV-229E) was first isolated in 1965.[16] Subsequently, six further coronaviridae were identified in humans, these being the common Human coronavirus NL63 (HCoV-NL63), Human coronavirus OC43 (HCoV-OC43), Human coronavirus HKU1 (HCoV-HKU1), as well as novel MERS-CoV, SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2.[17] HCoV-229E and HCoV-NL63 are Alphacoronavirus (α-CoV or Alpha-CoV),[17] while HCoV-OC43, HCoV-HKU1, MERS-CoV, SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 are Betacoronavirus (β-CoV or Beta-CoV).[17]

In November 2002 an outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) was discovered. This disease originated in China and subsequently spread to Vietnam, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore and Canada.

A new coronavirus was identified in 2012 with a SARS like illness, called the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) CoV resulted in a limited number of outbreaks, mostly in Saudi Arabia and other middle eastern countries.

In December 2019, a novel coronavirus (nCoV) was identified in Wuhan, China, which was isolated on 7 January 2020.[18] The World Health Organisation recommended the interim name of the disease as 2019-nCoV acute respiratory disease (2019-nCoV ARD) and 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCov) as the virus.[19] However, the disease has subsequently been reclassified as coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and the virus as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2),[20] which is closely related to the earlier SARS-CoV and genetically clusters within Betacoronavirus with subgenus Sarbecovirus.[21]

Zoonotic coronavirus diseases

Characteristics of zoonotic coronavirus strains
and related diseases
Outbreaks 2012, 2015,
2002–2004 2019–2020
Date of first
identified case
Location of first
identified case
Saudi Arabia
Age average 56 44[23][a] 56[24]
Sex ratio (M:F) 3.3:1 0.8:1[25] 1.6:1[24]
Confirmed cases 2494 8096[26] 40,327,407[27][b]
Deaths 858 774[26] 1,117,252[27][b]
Case fatality rate 37% 9.2% 2.8%[27]
Fever 98% 99–100% 87.9%[28]
Dry cough 47% 29–75% 67.7%[28]
Dyspnea 72% 40–42% 18.6%[28]
Diarrhea 26% 20–25% 3.7%[28]
Sore throat 21% 13–25% 13.9%[28]
Ventilatory use 24.5%[29] 14–20% 4.1%[30]
  1. ^ Based on data from Hong Kong.
  2. ^ a b Data as of 20 October 2020.

A zoonotic disease is an infectious disease caused by a pathogen (an infectious agent, such as a bacterium, virus, parasite or prion) that has jumped from an animal (usually a vertebrate) to a human.[31] SARS-CoV-2 is the third zoonotic coronavirus, after SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV,[32] although there is evidence that may support a zoonotic origin of HCoV-NL63 too.[33]


In 2003 severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV), causing severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), led to the 2002–2004 SARS outbreak. More than 8,000 people from 29 different countries and territories were infected, and at least 774 died.[34]


In 2012 Middle East respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus (MERS-CoV), causing Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), was identified.[35]

MERS-CoV is responsible for the 2012 MERS outbreak, primarily in the Middle East, the 2015 MERS outbreak in South Korea and the 2018 MERS outbreak primarily in Saudi Arabia.


The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), which in December 2019 led to a pneumonia outbreak in Wuhan, China, which developed into the COVID-19 pandemic.

Diseases in other animals

Coronaviruses have been recognized as causing pathological conditions in veterinary medicine since the 1930s.[36] They infect a range of animals such as swine, cattle, horses, camels, cats, dogs, rodents, birds, bats, and other wildlife.[37] The majority of animal-related coronaviruses infect the intestinal tract and are transmitted by a fecal-oral route.[38]


See also


  1. ^ Grant, Michael C.; Geoghegan, Luke; Arbyn, Marc; Mohammed, Zakaria; McGuinness, Luke; Clarke, Emily L.; Wade, Ryckie G.; Hirst, Jennifer A. (23 June 2020). "The prevalence of symptoms in 24,410 adults infected by the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19): A systematic review and meta-analysis of 148 studies from 9 countries". PLOS ONE. 15 (6): e0234765. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0234765.
  2. ^ The diagram reflects symptoms given at Coronavirus disease 2019#Signs and symptoms. References are listed there.
  3. ^ BBC News (11 February 2020). "Coronavirus officially named Covid-19, says WHO". BBC.
  4. ^ World Health Organization (11 February 2020). "COVID-19: New coronavirus given name by World Health Organization". CanWest Global. Global News.
  5. ^ "Covid". Oxford English Dictionary (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press. July 2020. Retrieved 26 July 2020. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  6. ^ "Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV)". World Health Organization. June 2015. Retrieved 6 April 2020.
  7. ^ a b "Naming the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and the virus that causes it". World Health Organization (WHO). Archived from the original on 28 February 2020. Retrieved 6 April 2020.
  8. ^ "Common Human Coronaviruses". Retrieved 6 April 2020.
  9. ^ a b Lim, Yvonne Xinyi; Ng, Yan Ling; Tam, James P.; Liu, Ding Xiang (25 July 2016). "Human Coronaviruses: A Review of Virus–Host Interactions". Diseases. 4 (3): 26. doi:10.3390/diseases4030026. ISSN 2079-9721. PMC 5456285. PMID 28933406. See Table 1.
  10. ^ a b Fehr AR, Perlman S (2015). "Coronaviruses: an overview of their replication and pathogenesis". In Maier HJ, Bickerton E, Britton P (eds.). Coronaviruses. Methods in Molecular Biology. 1282. Springer. pp. 1–23. doi:10.1007/978-1-4939-2438-7_1. ISBN 978-1-4939-2438-7. PMC 4369385. PMID 25720466. See section: Virion Structure.
  11. ^ Australian Government. "Colds". healthdirect Australia. Retrieved 18 April 2020.
  12. ^ "WHO Director-General's opening remarks at the media briefing on COVID-19". World Health Organization (WHO) (Press release). 11 March 2020. Archived from the original on 11 March 2020. Retrieved 6 April 2020.
  13. ^ "WHO Situation Report #65" (PDF). WHO. 25 March 2020.
  14. ^ "corona". Unabridged. Random House. Retrieved 21 May 2020.
  15. ^ "Virus". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 18 May 2020.
  16. ^ a b "COVID-19/SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic". Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine. 6 April 2020. Retrieved 18 May 2020.
  17. ^ a b c "Human Coronavirus Types". Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . 15 February 2020. Retrieved 18 May 2020.
  18. ^ "Novel Coronavirus – China". World Health Organisation. 12 January 2020. Retrieved 18 May 2020.
  19. ^ "Novel Coronavirus(2019-nCoV)" (PDF). World Health Organisation. 30 January 2020. Retrieved 18 May 2020.
  20. ^ "Naming the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and the virus that causes it". World Health Organisation. Retrieved 18 May 2020.
  21. ^ "Disease background of COVID-19". European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. 8 May 2020. Retrieved 18 May 2020.
  22. ^ Wang C, Horby PW, Hayden FG, Gao GF (February 2020). "A novel coronavirus outbreak of global health concern". Lancet. 395 (10223): 470–473. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(20)30185-9. PMID 31986257.
  23. ^ Lau EH, Hsiung CA, Cowling BJ, Chen CH, Ho LM, Tsang T, et al. (March 2010). "A comparative epidemiologic analysis of SARS in Hong Kong, Beijing and Taiwan". BMC Infectious Diseases. 10: 50. doi:10.1186/1471-2334-10-50. PMC 2846944. PMID 20205928.
  24. ^ a b "Old age, sepsis tied to poor COVID-19 outcomes, death". CIDRAP, University of Minnesota. Retrieved 29 March 2020.
  25. ^ Karlberg J, Chong DS, Lai WY (February 2004). "Do men have a higher case fatality rate of severe acute respiratory syndrome than women do?". American Journal of Epidemiology. 159 (3): 229–31. doi:10.1093/aje/kwh056. PMID 14742282.
  26. ^ a b "Summary of probable SARS cases with onset of illness from 1 November 2002 to 31 July 2003". World Health Organization. April 2004.
  27. ^ a b c "COVID-19 Dashboard by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University (JHU)". ArcGIS. Johns Hopkins University. Retrieved 20 October 2020.
  28. ^ a b c d e "Report of the WHO-China Joint Mission on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)" (PDF). World Health Organization. February 2020.
  29. ^ Oh MD, Park WB, Park SW, Choe PG, Bang JH, Song KH, et al. (March 2018). "Middle East respiratory syndrome: what we learned from the 2015 outbreak in the Republic of Korea". The Korean Journal of Internal Medicine. 33 (2): 233–246. doi:10.3904/kjim.2018.031. PMC 5840604. PMID 29506344.
  30. ^ Ñamendys-Silva SA (March 2020). "Respiratory support for patients with COVID-19 infection". The Lancet. Respiratory Medicine. doi:10.1016/S2213-2600(20)30110-7. PMID 32145829.
  31. ^ WHO. "Zoonoses". Archived from the original on 3 January 2015. Retrieved 18 December 2014.
  32. ^ MacKenzie, J. S.; Smith, D. W. (17 March 2020). "COVID-19: a novel zoonotic disease caused by a coronavirus from China: what we know and what we don't". Microbiology Australia. 41: MA20013. doi:10.1071/MA20013. PMC 7086482. PMID 32226946.
  33. ^ Huynh, J.; Li, S.; Yount, B.; Smith, A.; Sturges, L.; Olsen, J. C.; Nagel, J.; Johnson, J. B.; Agnihothram, S.; Gates, J. E.; Frieman, M. B.; Baric, R. S.; Donaldson, E. F. (December 2012). "Evidence Supporting a Zoonotic Origin of Human Coronavirus Strain NL63". Journal of Virology. American Society for Microbiology. 86 (23): 12816–12825. doi:10.1128/JVI.00906-12. PMC 3497669. PMID 22993147.
  34. ^ "How SARS terrified the world in 2003, infecting more than 8,000 people and killing 774". 21 February 2020. Retrieved 6 April 2020.
  35. ^ Doucleef M (26 September 2012). "Scientists Go Deep On Genes Of SARS-Like Virus". Associated Press. Archived from the original on 27 September 2012. Retrieved 6 April 2020.
  36. ^ McIntosh K (1974). "Coronaviruses: A Comparative Review". In Arber W, Haas R, Henle W, Hofschneider PH, Jerne NK, Koldovský P, Koprowski H, Maaløe O, Rott R (eds.). Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology / Ergebnisse der Mikrobiologie und Immunitätsforschung. Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology / Ergebnisse der Mikrobiologie und Immunitätsforschung. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer. p. 87. doi:10.1007/978-3-642-65775-7_3. ISBN 978-3-642-65775-7.
  37. ^ "Chapter 24 - Coronaviridae". Fenner's Veterinary Virology (Fifth ed.). Academic Press. 2017. pp. 435–461. doi:10.1016/B978-0-12-800946-8.00024-6. ISBN 978-0-12-800946-8.
  38. ^ Murphy FA, Gibbs EP, Horzinek MC, Studdart MJ (1999). Veterinary Virology. Boston: Academic Press. pp. 495–508. ISBN 978-0-12-511340-3.

External links

The dictionary definition of COVID at Wiktionary