Chinese authorities have confirmed more 6,000 cases and a total of 170 deaths due to the new coronavirus. The number of confirmed cases of the new coronavirus has overtaken the 2003 SARS outbreak in China. Coronaviruses are zoonotic, meaning they are transmitted between animals and people. Every decade, a zoonotic coronavirus crosses species to infect human populations and in this decade, we have a virus, provisionally called 2019-nCoV, first identified in Wuhan, China, in persons exposed to a seafood or wet market.
Coronavirus: What’s in the name?
The name of coronavirus comes from its shape, which resembles a crown or solar corona when imaged using an electron microscope. The three deadly human respiratory coronaviruses so far:
1. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus [SARS-CoV]
2. Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus [MERS-CoV])
3. 2019-nCoV: The virus is 75 to 80% identical to the SARS-CoV