Coronaviruses are a group of related RNA viruses that cause diseases In humans, these viruses cause respiratory tract infections that can range from mild to lethal. Mild illnesses include some cases of the common cold, while more lethal varieties can cause SARS, MERS, and COVID-19. Symptoms in other species vary: in chickens, they cause an upper respiratory tract disease, while in cows and pigs they cause diarrhea. There are as yet no vaccines or antiviral drugs to prevent or treat human coronavirus infections.
The name coronavirus is derived from Latin corona, meaning “crown” or “wreath”. The name was coined by June Almeida and David Tyrrell who first observed and studied human coronaviruses. The word was first used in print in 1968 by an informal group of virologists in the journal Nature to designate the new family of viruses. The name refers to the characteristic appearance of virions (the infective form of the virus) by electron microscopy, which has a fringe of large, bulbous surface projections creating an image reminiscent of the solar corona or halo. This morphology is created by the viral spike peplomers, which are proteins on the surface of the virus.
What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 stands for CO stands for corona, VI for virus, and D for disease. Formerly, this disease was referred to as ‘2019 novel coronavirus’ or ‘2019-nCoV.’ The COVID-19 virus is a new virus linked to the same family of viruses as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and some types of the common cold.
Symptoms of Coronavirus
Most common symptoms:
- Dry cough.
Less common symptoms:
- Aches and pains.
- Sore throat.
- Loss of taste or smell.
- Rashes on the skin, or discoloration of fingers or toes.
Prevention of Coronavirus
- Clean your hands often. Use soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand rub.
- Maintain a safe distance from anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
- Don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth.
- Cover your nose and mouth with your bent elbow or a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
- Stay home if you feel unwell.
- If you have a fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention. Call in advance.
- Follow the directions of your local health authority.
- Maintain social distance.
- Use masks or maintain handkerchief.