Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. Some cause illness in people and others cause illness in animals. Human coronaviruses are common and are typically associated with mild illnesses, similar to the common cold.
COVID-19 is a new disease that has not been previously identified in humans. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can infect people, and more rarely, these can then spread from person to person through close contact.
There have been 2 other specific coronaviruses that have spread from animals to humans and which have caused severe illness in humans. These are the:
- Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS CoV)
- Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS CoV)
Symptoms of Coronavirus:
- The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, and dry cough.
- Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea.
- These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. Some people become infected but don't develop any symptoms and don't feel unwell.
- Around 1 out of every 6 people who gets COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and develops difficulty breathing. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness.
- People with fever, cough and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention.