What are Human Coronaviruses

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Human Coronaviruses were first identified in the 1960s and because of a crown like spike protein on their surface, they acquired the Latin name corona meaning crown.   Based on shape of proteins on the surface, these viruses are sub grouped into alpha, beta, gamma and delta coronavirus.
 
The first two groups alpha and beta come from bats.  There are seven known human coronaviruses which are SARS-Cov-2, SARS-Cov, and MERS, which can cause potentially fatal disease. Sars-cov-2 is the virus that causes COVID-19 disease.  But HKU1, NL63, OC43, and 229E only cause mild symptoms similar to the common cold.  SARS and MERS came from bats but they have intermediate hosts which are civets and camels respectively.  The subsequent spread to humans occurred after contact with the intermediate hosts.  Civet cats are more related to mongoose than cats. They are nocturnal animals with short legs and long bodies with habitats in Asia and Africa. A search for the intermediate host of the SARS-Cov-2 which causes COVID-19 disease has led investigators to the intermediate hosts the pangolin and possibly a specific type snake. But again, there is no true exact match between the human coronavirus RNA  and with the RNA genomic sequence of the pangolin or the snake.  
 
The snake intermediate host has led to some speculations about the way we should treat this disease.  Keep that thought in mind because I will be revisiting this later when we talk about a treatment that has been deemed controversial.
( i.e nicotine patches). 
 
Stay in tune for tomorrow. Keep sharing. There is off course more to this story. You know it.

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