2.1 The coronaviruses

Coronaviruses (CoVs) are the largest group of viruses belonging to the Nidovirales order. The name “coronavirus” comes from the Latin “corona”, which means crown, due to its characteristic appearance that resembles a crown or solar corona. CoV can induce respiratory, gastrointestinal and neurological dysfunction in their hosts and predominately respiratory infections in human. 

A total of seven species of coronavirus are found to be pathogenic to humans:

Species (1) HKU1, (2) OC43, (3) NL63 and (4) 229E: Mild upper respiratory tract infections

Species (5) SARS-CoV, (6) MERS-CoV and (7) SARS-2-CoV: Zoonotic and life threatening

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