Coronavirus diseases are caused by viruses in the coronavirus subfamily. Coronaviruses are a group of related RNA viruses that cause diseases in mammals and birds. In humans and birds, the group of viruses cause respiratory tract infections that can range from mild to lethal. Mild illnesses in humans include some cases of the common cold (which is also caused by other viruses, predominantly rhinoviruses), while more lethal varieties can cause SARS, MERS, and COVID-19. As of 2020, 45 species are registered as coronaviruses, whilst 11 diseases have been identified, as listed below.
Coronaviruses are known for their shape resembling a stellar corona, such as that of the Sun visible during a total solar eclipse; corona is derived from the Latin word corōna, meaning 'garland, wreath, crown'. It was coined by June Almeida and David Tyrrell, the founding fathers of coronavirus studies, and was first used in a Nature article in 1968, with approval by the International Committee for the Nomenclature of Viruses three years later.
The first coronavirus disease was discovered in the late 1920s, however the most recent common ancestor of coronaviruses is estimated to have existed as recently as 8000 BCE. Human coronaviruses was discovered in the 1960s, through a variety of experiments in the United States and United Kingdom. A common origin in human coronaviruses are bats.
Listed diseases primarily affect humans unless otherwise noted.
|Avian infectious bronchitis||avian coronavirus (IBV)||1920s (isolated in 1938)||Originated from North America.|
|Transmissible gastroenteritis||Transmissible gastroenteritis virus (TGEV)||1965 (recognized in 1946)||Infects pigs, cats, and dogs.|
|Common cold, pneumonia, bronchiolitis, etc.||Human coronavirus 229E (HCoV-229E)||1930s (isolated in 1965)||Likely originated from bats.|
|Murine encephalitis||JHM (named after John Howard Mueller), a murine coronavirus||1949|
|Acute infectious diarrhea||Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV)||1971||Caused outbreaks in 1972 and 1978, 2010, 2013, 2014, and 2015. Infects pigs and sows.|
|Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)||Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV), a strain of SARSr-CoV||2002||Caused the 2002–2004 SARS outbreak. Likely originated from horseshoe bats.|
|Common cold||Human coronavirus HKU1 (HCoV-HKU1)||2004||Originated from Hong Kong.|
|Respiratory infection||Human coronavirus NL63 (HCoV-NL63)||2004||Originated from Amsterdam, Netherlands. Likely originated from tricolored bats.|
|Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS)||Middle East respiratory syndrome–related coronavirus (MERS-CoV)||2012||Has caused outbreaks in 2012, 2015, and 2018. Likely originated in the Middle East, particularly Jeddah.|
|Porcine diarrhea||HKU15||2014||Discovered in Hong Kong.|
|Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)||severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), a strain of SARSr-CoV||2019||Cause of ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Originated in Wuhan, China; possibly from horseshoe bats, pangolins, or both.|
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