What are the symptoms of a coronavirus?
Coronaviruses can give rise to a variety of symptoms in different animals. While some strains cause diarrhea in pigs and in turkeys, most of the time infections can be compared to a bad cold, causing mild to moderate upper respiratory problems such as a runny nose and sore throat.
There are a handful of lethal exceptions, which have had a devastating impact on livestock and human health around the globe.
Wuhan coronavirus (2019-nCoV)
Wuhan coronavirus was first identified in the Chinese city of Wuhan in 2019. At the time of writing, numbers of infected are still on the rise, with a number of deaths having been reported.
Snakes have been suspected as a potential source for the outbreak, though other experts currently consider this as unlikely.
Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS-CoV)
SARS was first recognized as a distinct strain of coronavirus in 2003. The source of the virus has never been clear, though the first human infections can be traced back to the Chinese province of Guangdong in 2002.
The virus then became a pandemic, causing more than 8,000 infections of an influenza-like disease in 26 countries with close to 800 deaths.
The Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS-CoV)
MERS was first identified in Saudi Arabia in 2012 in people displaying symptoms of fever, cough, shortness of breath and occasionally gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea. An animal source for the virus has never been officially confirmed, though evidence points to dromedary camels as a potential reservoir of infection.
The World Health Organisation has identified around 2,500 cases of infection in 27 countries since initial outbreaks, resulting in nearly 860 deaths.
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