Coronaviruses are microbes that cause various types of infections in the digestive and respiratory systems, both in humans and animals. The first information about coranoviruses appeared in the 1960s, when the pathogens HCoV-229E and HCoV-OC43 were discovered, both of which cause a cold of a mild nature that disappears spontaneously after a few days. The lethal variety of the virus appeared only in 2002 in China. This strain causes severe respiratory failure, known over time as SARS. According to WHO data, the SARS epidemic in 2002-2003 killed 916 people. Coronaviruses are RNA viruses. This means that their genome is made of RNA. Their name comes from the corona-like sheath that appears around virions under an electron microscope.
This group includes three subgroups (B814, 229E and OC43), the last two of which cause epidemics of respiratory tract infections. A well-known representative of this group is the aforementioned SARS virus. Coronavirus also includes MERS-CoV (The Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus), which has been detected in more than 40 people since September 2012, half of whom have died. The first symptoms of coronavirus infection are usually similar to flu symptoms. There is high fever, headache, sore throat and cough, feeling exhausted, lack of appetite.