What is Coronavirus?

Since the beginning of 2020, almost all of the nations around the world are fighting against spreading of a fatal virus known as coronavirus. Actual figures might vary but as of this moment, more than 170,000 people have died because of coronavirus around the world and more than 2.5 million people are under treatment after their tests came positive. Before we proceed further, let’s take a look at this virus first. Although it might seem that the world has seen this virus for the first time, it’s not true. Viruses from corona family exist for more than 100 years and the current virus is just a new form and it’s referred to as novel coronavirus or COVID 19. This virus is transmitted from animals to the humans and if it attacks mildly, it can cause fever, sore throat, cough and problem in breathing while in a more serious condition, it can turn into severe acute respiratory syndrome or SARS which is a fatal and life threatening condition.

History and Overview of Coronavirus:

First case of COVID 19 was reported in Chinese province Wuhan in mid December last year. Some people from this province were admitted to the hospital because they had high fever, sore throat and problems in breathing. Initially it was assumed as common flu but when people started showing up at hospitals with almost similar symptoms, authorities took notice and soon it was established that Chinese people are under threat of a new form of coronavirus. It took Chinese government more than 1 month to actually realize the seriousness of the situation and then they locked down every major city including the entire Wuhan province. But, it was too late and within 10-15 days, cases started emerging all over the world and now within just 4 months, this virus has spread to almost every country around the world including America, England, France, Germany, Brazil, Spain, Italy, Japan, India and various countries in Middle East and Africa. There are some allegations from USA government that this virus is manmade and it originated in China but WHO has confirmed that there is no possible way a human could have created this virus in a laboratory but it definitely came from animals.

Known Viruses of Corona Family:

Despite what majority of people understand about coronavirus these days, coronavirus is actually a family of viruses that includes MERS, SARS and COVID 19. Lots of viruses from this family circulate among animals i.e. cats, dogs, bats and camels while some of them occasionally evolve in a form that can attack a human being. In order to understand the size of this virus family, you should know that common cold i.e. flu and running nose is also caused by a virus from coronavirus family. Some of the most common viruses from coronavirus family include;

  1. MERS:
    MERS or Middle East Respiratory Syndrome is a form of coronavirus that was first reported back in 2012 in Saudi Arabia. From the time that first case was reported, it didn’t take more than 1-2 months for this virus to spread to more than 25 countries around the world. The symptoms of this virus attack include shortness of breath, cough, sore throat and high fever. According to well known researches, death rate was about 30-40 percent in diagnosed patients and even if it’s almost 8 years since the first case was reported, people are still getting affected by this virus but very rarely.
  2. SARS:
    SARS or Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome is also a virus from coronavirus family and it originated in China almost 18 years ago. Symptoms of this virus are also very similar to MERS with fever and body aches while some patients were later diagnosed with pneumonia. Fatality rate of this virus is not more than 10 percent but it’s safe to say that this virus was quickly contained and there is no reported case of SARS in last 15 years.
  3. COVID 19:
    COVID 19 or Coronavirus Disease 2019 is the most recent member of coronavirus family and its first case emerged in December 2019 in China. Within a few months, this virus has spread to more than 100 countries around the world with affecting around 3 million people globally. Because of its severity and high fatality rate, WHO calls it Pandemic and countries around the world are under strict lockdown to force social distancing and stay at home to avoid coming contact with this virus.

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