A coronavirus is a group of common viruses. They are named for the crown-like spikes on the surface of the virus. Some coronaviruses only affect animals, but others can also affect humans.
Most people get infected with human coronaviruses at some time in their life. This usually causes mild to moderate upper-respiratory infections, like the common cold. But they can also cause more severe illnesses such as bronchitis and pneumonia.
There are several different types of human coronaviruses, including the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) and the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) coronaviruses.
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