- Coronaviruses are a group of related viruses that cause diseases in mammals and birds. In humans, coronaviruses cause respiratory tract infections that can range from mild to lethal.
- There are yet to be vaccines or antiviral drugs to prevent or treat human coronavirus infections.
- SARS-CoV-2 is colloquially known as the coronavirus and is a positive-sense single-stranded RNA virus.
- It is contagious in humans, and the World Health Organization (WHO) has designated the ongoing pandemic of COVID-19 a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.
- Because the strain was first discovered in Wuhan, China, it is sometimes referred to as the "Wuhan virus"
- Epidemiological studies estimate each infection results in 1.4 to 3.9 new ones when no members of the community are immune and no preventive measures taken.
- It mainly enters human cells by binding to the receptor angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2).
- Human-to-human transmission of SARS-CoV-2 has been confirmed during the 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic.Transmission occurs primarily via respiratory droplets from coughs and sneezes within a range of about 1.8 metres (6 ft).
- Because many of the first individuals found to be infected by the virus were workers at the Huanan Seafood Market it has been suggested that the strain might have originated from the market.
- The Coronavirus have characteristic club-shaped spikes that project from their surface, which in electron micrographs create an image reminiscent of the solar corona from which their name derives.