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1. Types of Corona Viruses and Their Symptoms
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- Coronaviruses are a large family of single-stranded RNA viruses that cause diseases in animals and humans.
- In humans, the viruses usually cause mild to moderate upper-respiratory tract illnesses such as the common cold.
- In the last two decades, more aggressive coronaviruses have emerged that are capable of causing serious illness and even death in humans.
- In which three significant are
- SARS-CoV: 2003 in China (animal source not yet known, bats thought to have given it to other animals, probably civet cats)
- MERS: 2012 in Saudi Arabia (transmitted by dromedary camels)
- SARS-CoV-2: 2019 in Wuhan (source not yet known, possibly bats)
- Classification – Coronavirinae are one of the two subfamilies of Coronaviridea, with the other being Torovirinae.
- Coronavirinae can be further subdivided into alpha, beta, gamma and delta coronaviruses.
- While coronaviruses from all four categories can be found in mammals, bat coronaviruses are the likely gene source of alpha and beta coronaviruses, while avian coronaviruses are the probable gene sources of gamma and delta coronaviruses.
- While there are hundreds of coronaviruses, there are seven that we know can infect humans.
- Out of the seven, two are alpha coronaviruses (229E and NL63) and four are beta coronaviruses (OC43, HKU1, MERS and SARS-CoV).
- The classification of the viruses is based on their phylogeny, which is to say it reflects how these virus strains evolved from their common ancestors.
- Symptoms – Before SARS-CoV-2 and MERS, SARS-CoV was the first example of a human coronavirus that could cause serious illness in humans in the form of severe acute respiratory syndrome.
- Other human coronaviruses such as OC43 and 229E are known to cause the common cold, whereas NL63 is associated with serious respiratory symptoms such as upper respiratory tract infection and pneumonia.
- NL63 is primarily associated with infections among children, it has also been detected in immuno-compromised adults with respiratory tract infections, OC43 can also cause gastroenteritis.
- Symptoms of SARS include cough, shortness of breath, diarrhea. In severe cases, the symptoms can progress to respiratory distress, which may require intensive care.
- MERS symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath.
- Further, while SARS-CoV-2 is considered to be milder than SARS-CoV and MERS, it is especially difficult to control its outbreak, given its high infectiousness. [/showhide]