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What is a coronavirus?

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A coronavirus is a type of common virus that can infect your nose, sinuses, or upper throat. They can spread much like cold viruses. Almost everyone gets a coronavirus infection at least once in their life, most likely as a young child.

Most coronaviruses are not dangerous, but some are. Those that cause Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) or severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS ) can be deadly.

SOURCES:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: "Coronavirus."

World Health Organization: "Coronavirus Infections."

Journal of Virology: "Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV); Announcement of the Coronavirus Study Group."

Journal of the American Medical Association News: "French Researchers: For Now, Middle Eastern Coronavirus Not Likely to Cause a Pandemic."

Johns Hopkins Medicine: "Upper Respiratory Infection (URI) or Common Cold."

Reviewed by Michael W. Smith on August 11, 2020

SOURCES:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: "Coronavirus."

World Health Organization: "Coronavirus Infections."

Journal of Virology: "Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV); Announcement of the Coronavirus Study Group."

Journal of the American Medical Association News: "French Researchers: For Now, Middle Eastern Coronavirus Not Likely to Cause a Pandemic."

Johns Hopkins Medicine: "Upper Respiratory Infection (URI) or Common Cold."

Reviewed by Michael W. Smith on August 11, 2020

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