Coronaviruses are a large virus family usually targeting the respiratory organ.
The name is being derived from the Latin word corona, meaning crown, due to the spiky fringe which surrounds these viruses. Many species, such as bats, cats, and birds, get sick. Just seven are known to infect humans like Covid-19, SARS,
SARS is believed to have developed in China from bats to civet cats to humans;
MERS has spread from bats to camels into Middle East humans. No one knows where the Covid-19 came from. For now, livestock in Wuhan, China, a town of 11 million are thought to have taken the jump late last year. But scholars still seek to understand their exact roots.
As for the signs, in 10 and more than 30 percent of cases, two of the seven corona viruses that infect humans, SARS and MERS, can cause severe pneumonia, and even death. The others, though, show milder effects, like a common cold. Apparently, it’s evident that Covid-19 will kill — but it’s not clear how often or how it relates the fatality rate to SARS and MERS.
Most patients now start with fever, cough, and shortness of breath, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. An early analysis, published in
The Lancet, offered even greater detail. It has looked at a subset of the first 41
patients in Wuhan with confirmed Covid-19. Fever, cough, muscle pain, and exhaustion were the most common symptoms; vomiting, nausea, and coughing up mucus, or blood, were less common.
They all had CT scans of pneumonia and lung abnormalities. As for the severity of the disease: 13 people were taken to an ICU, where six died. By January 22, most patients had been discharged from the hospital (68 percent).
More recently, records have also been made of people with very mild symptoms,
such as the cases in southern Germany. There is even evidence that events are asymptomatic.
It’s likely that Covid-19 can look more like flu than it does like SARS. That’s because when they are first detected, infectious diseases usually seem more serious because people appearing in hospitals tend to be the sickest. However, the new virus seems less dangerous than both SARS and MERS.