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Coronaviruses: Information and News Updates

Updated/Revised Date: 2022-08-02
Author: Disabled World | Contact: Disabled World (Disabled-World.com)
Additional References: Coronavirus Information Publications

Synopsis: Information regarding the different strains of Coronaviruses including: HKU1, HCoV-229E, HCoV-OC43, HCoV-NL63, MERS-CoV, and the newly discovered Coronavirus COVID-19. 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 HCoV-229E, -NL63, -OC43, and -HKU1 continually circulate in the human population and cause respiratory infections in adults and children world-wide. The 2019 - 2020 Wuhan, China, pneumonia outbreak was traced to a new coronavirus, which is now labeled as COVID-19 by WHO.

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Definition

Coronaviruses

Coronaviruses form a large family of viruses. Coronaviruses are named for the crown-like spikes on their surface. There are four main sub-groupings of coronaviruses, known as Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and Delta. 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 their genome, which allows the RNA viral genome to be transcribed into new RNA copies using the host cell's machinery. Coronaviruses were initially discovered in the 1960s; the earliest ones found were infectious bronchitis virus in chickens and two viruses from the nasal cavities of human patients with the common cold that were subsequently named human coronavirus 229E and human coronavirus OC43.

Main Document

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that usually cause mild to moderate upper-respiratory tract illnesses in humans. However, three coronaviruses have caused more severe and fatal diseases in people: SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV), which emerged in November 2002 and caused severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS); MERS coronavirus (MERS-CoV), which appeared in 2012 and caused Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS); and SARS-CoV-2, which emerged in 2019 and causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

How Many Coronaviruses Are There?

There are seven 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 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 worldwide.

MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV have been known to cause severe symptoms frequently. MERS symptoms usually include fever, cough, and shortness of breath, which often progress to pneumonia. 3 or 4 out of every ten 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 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 a 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 helps 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 for illnesses caused by human coronaviruses. Most people with common human coronavirus illnesses 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 in mid-December 2019 in Wuhan in central China as an emerging cluster of people with pneumonia with no clear cause. It was linked primarily to stallholders who worked at the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, selling 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, and all public transport in and out of Wuhan was suspended. Nearby cities of Huanggang, Ezhou, Chibi, Jingzhou, and Zhejiang were also placed under quarantine from 24th January 2020.

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Additional Coronavirus Information Publications

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Cite This Page (APA): Disabled World. (2022, August 2). Coronaviruses: Information and News Updates. Disabled World. Retrieved January 29, 2023 from www.disabled-world.com/health/influenza/coronavirus/

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