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Coronavirus: Symptoms - Treatment - Update Information

Disabled World (

Revised/Updated: Wednesday, 11th March 2020


Information regarding the different strains of Coronaviruses including: HKU1, HCoV-229E, HCoV-OC43, HCoV-NL63, MERS-CoV, and the newly discovered Coronavirus COVID-19.

Key Points:

Main Document

What are Coronaviruses?

Coronaviruses form a large family of viruses, and the illnesses they cause can range from the common cold to more severe diseases such as the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). Coronaviruses also have a protein known as a replicase encoded in its genome which allows the RNA viral genome to be transcribed into new RNA copies using the host cell's machinery. Coronaviruses were originally discovered in the 1960s; the earliest ones discovered were infectious bronchitis virus in chickens and 2 viruses from the nasal cavities of human patients with the common cold that were subsequently named human coronavirus 229E and human coronavirus OC43.

How Many Different Coronaviruses Are There?

There are 7 strains of human coronaviruses currently known:

Human coronaviruses can sometimes cause lower-respiratory tract illnesses, such as pneumonia or bronchitis. This is more common in people with cardiopulmonary disease, people with weakened immune systems, infants, and older adults. Sometimes coronaviruses that infect animals can evolve and make people sick and become a new human coronavirus. Three recent examples of this are COVID-19, SARS-CoV, and MERS-CoV.

The Coronaviruses HCoV-229E, -NL63, -OC43, and -HKU1 continually circulate in the human population and cause respiratory infections in adults and children world-wide.

MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV have been known to frequently cause severe symptoms. MERS symptoms usually include fever, cough, and shortness of breath which often progress to pneumonia. About 3 or 4 out of every 10 patients reported with MERS have died.

MERS is caused by a coronavirus called "Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus" (MERS-CoV). MERS-CoV is not the same coronavirus that caused severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 2003. However, like the SARS virus, MERS-CoV is most similar to coronaviruses found in bats. MERS-CoV has been shown to spread between people who are in close contact.

Most people infected with MERS-CoV develop severe acute respiratory illness with symptoms of fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Some people were reported as having a mild respiratory illness. There are no specific treatments for illnesses caused by MERS-CoV. Around 50% of those who contracted the illness died. Medical care is supportive and to help relieve symptoms.

Coronavirus as seen under an electron microscope showing the Coronaviruses unique halo, or crown-like (corona) appearance.
Coronavirus as seen under an electron microscope showing the Coronaviruses unique halo, or crown-like (corona) appearance.

Human coronaviruses are most commonly spread via:

There are currently no known treatments, or vaccines, available for illnesses caused by human coronaviruses. Most people with common human coronavirus illness recover on their own. Things to help relieve your symptoms include:

To help protect against human coronavirus infection by reducing your risk of infection try:

If you have cold-like symptoms help protect others by:

2019 - 2020 Wuhan Coronavirus Outbreak

The 2019 - 2020 Wuhan, China, pneumonia outbreak was traced to a new coronavirus, which is now labeled as COVID-19 by WHO. It was initially identified during mid-December 2019 in the city of Wuhan in central China, as an emerging cluster of people with pneumonia with no clear cause, which was linked primarily to stallholders who worked at the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, which also sold live animals. (Wikipedia).

On 22 January 2020, the Journal of Medical Virology published a report with genomic analysis that reflects that snakes in the Wuhan area are "the most probable wildlife animal reservoir" for the virus, but more research is required.

On 23 January 2020, Wuhan was placed under quarantine, all public transport in and out of Wuhan is suspended. Nearby cities of Huanggang, Ezhou, Chibi, Jingzhou, and Zhijiang were also placed under quarantine from 24th January 2020.

Subtopics and Associated Subjects

Related Information

Coronaviruses List : RSS

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