Coronavirus Types and Which Type is Wreaking Havoc Worldwide

What Is a Coronavirus?
The term “coronavirus” refers to a large group of viruses known to affect birds and mammals, including humans. COVID-19, which first appeared in China in December 2019, is a type of coronavirus.

Coronaviruses are named for the spiky projections on their surface. These resemble the points on a crown. Corona means “crown” in Latin.

There are hundreds of coronaviruses, but only sevenTrusted Source are known to affect people. Four human coronaviruses only cause mild cold- or flu-like symptoms. Three other coronaviruses pose more serious risks.

Keep reading to learn more about the types of coronaviruses, including COVID-19.

Types of human coronaviruses
All seven types of human coronaviruses cause upper respiratory infections. Symptoms resemble those of the common cold or flu and may include:

nasal congestion
sore throat
cough
headaches
fever
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)Trusted Source, coronaviruses occasionally cause complications in the lower respiratory tract, such as pneumonia.

These complications are more commonTrusted Source among:

infants
older adults
people with other illnesses or weakened immune systems
The seven coronaviruses that affect humans can be categorized into two groups.