What is a coronavirus?

A coronavirus is a common type of respiratory virus that usually causes respiratory symptoms if it infects humans.  The common cold can be caused by such a virus and they can also infect animals, particularly bats and birds.  There are many types of coronavirus and they can cause illness ranging from mild to very severe. You may have heard of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV) or Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), both of these are coronaviruses.

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