What is a coronavirus?

A coronavirus is a virus that is found in animals and, rarely, can be transmitted from animals to humans and then spread person to person. In addition to COVID-19, other human coronaviruses have included:

  • The MERS virus, or Middle East respiratory syndrome.
  • The SARS virus, or severe acute respiratory syndrome, which first occurred in the Guangdong province in southern China.

What are the symptoms of a coronavirus?

COVID-19 symptoms range from mild to severe. It takes 2-14 days after exposure for symptoms to develop. Symptoms may include:

  • fever
  • cough
  • shortness of breath

Those with weakened immune systems may develop more serious symptoms, like pneumonia or bronchitis. You may never develop symptoms after being exposed to COVID-19. So far, most confirmed cases are in adults, but some children have been infected. There is no evidence that children are at greater risk for getting the virus.

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