Mar 18,2020 by Anushka Agarwal

What is Coronavirus?

Coronavirus or CoV, is a large family of viruses known to be causing respiratory illness, ranging from common cold to severe cases, like the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV).

A new strain, COVID-19, discovered in 2019 has not been identified in humans ever before. Declared as a pandemic by the WHO, COVID-19 is a form of coronavirus causing diseases in animals. The virus, however, possesses the spillover power, to jump from animals to humans, causing cold-like symptoms.

what is corona virus?

COVID-19 affects your lungs and airways, causing symptoms like runny nose, sore throat, cough, high fever. In severe cases, it causes pneumonia or breathing difficulties, and ultimately death.

  • Coronaviruses are zoonotic pathogens meaning that they cause infections in animals and then are transmitted from animals to people.
  • Many coronavirus strains were discovered in domestic poultry in the 1930s, causing ailments in the respiratory, gastrointestinal, liver, and neurological tracts of the animals. A total of 7 coronaviruses are known to cause diseases in humans.
  • Bats are the most common hosts for the transmission of coronaviruses. Since the immune system of bats are very strong, they can fight off virus infections but do not overreact to them.
  • COVID-19 virus has 79% similarity with the SARS genetic makeup. However, these two viruses are different and are their disease manifestations.

Types of Coronavirus strains




Full Name


Middle East Respiratory Syndrome


Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome

Coronavirus disease

Source of Transmission into humans


Camels (from Bats)

Civet cats (from Bats)

Live animal market (Still Unclear)

Fatality Rate (can change as the virus mutates)




Outbreak Year



Late 2019

Infection origin

Middle East Asia (Saudi Arabia)

Guangdong, China

Wuhan, China

Worldwide reported cases

2500 in 27 countries

>8000 cases in more than 30 countries

>190,000 cases in 162 countries

Total deaths



>7989 (till date)

Current status (in 2020)

Still active, but the number of reported cases has decreased

No new cases have been reported since 2004, however, it has reappeared four times, three times from lab accidents and once in Southern China 

The virus is spreading rapidly with no signs of containment 

Disease transmission

Through respiratory droplets or aerosols from an infective person

Through respiratory droplets produced when an infective person sneezes or coughs

Through secretions and respiratory droplets from infective person. The role of aerosols in its transmission is still unknown

Incubation period 

5 days 

2-7 days 

5.6 days (as per a Chinese study) 


No vaccine is available

Experimental vaccines are under development 

No vaccine is available

100-Year Pandemic History: A Curse For The World

Amidst all the concerns and the rising number of cases for coronavirus, people have started talking about the curse of the 20s, pandemics course of such scary infections history. The theory goes on like this.



It was the last noteworthy European outbreak of the bubonic plague. More than 100,000 people were killed in the city of Marseille, France.




The first cholera outbreak occurred in 1820 somewhere in Asia. About 100,000 deaths were registered and the major affected countries were Indonesia, Thailand and Philippines. The major cause of this infection was the consumption of water infested with killer bacterium.




The world faced the first influenza pandemic between 1918-20. It was the first of the two pandemics to involve H1N1 influenza virus. It infected about half a billion population and killed more than 100 million people. It has been stated as the deadliest of all the pandemics in the world history.




A global pandemic, COVID-29 has sparked the alarm throughout the world. The virus is spreading rapidly and has infected more than 190,000 people around the world. The citizens of 167 countries have fallen prey to this zoonotic strain of virus and there is a rapid rise in the number of confirmed cases.

History of Coronavirus: The Timeline As It Happened

Coronavirus was first discovered in 1931. Subsequently, the first coronavirus strain (HCoV-229E) was isolated from humans in 1965. However, until the outbreak of SARS-CoV, in 2002, only two human coronavirus strains were known.

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These were HCoV-229E and HCoV-OC43.

There is a total of three groups of coronaviruses in existence:

CoV- Group 1

CoV- Group 2

CoV- Group 3

1a includes transmissible gastroenteritis virus of swine, porcine respiratory CoV, Canine CoV, feline CoV, ferret and mink CoV, and spotted hyena CoV.





1b consists of certain human CoV like the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus, and bat CoV.

2a includes mouse hepatitis virus, bovine CoV, sialodacryoadenitis virus of rats, porcine hemagglutinating encephalomyelitis virus, canine respiratory CoV, and other human coronaviruses.



2b includes human SARS coronavirus and civet cat, raccoon dog, and horseshoe bat coronaviruses

This includes avian infectious bronchitis virus, turkey coronavirus, and several potential but still largely uncharacterized new species from ducks, geese, and pigeons.



HCoV-229E and HCoV-NL63


HCoVOC43 and HCoV-HKU1


No human CoV exists


Common founding’s are:

  • According to studies, it has to found that bat coronaviruses can be the ancestors of many mammalian coronaviruses.
  • A comparative study on the evolution of animal and human coronaviruses that the causes of common cold in humans, which are now global pandemics (SARS-CoV and COVID-19) crossed species from their animal reservoirs (bats and cattle) to humans within the last 200 years. This proves that coronaviruses continue to cross species barriers and cause novel diseases.
  • Coronavirus in closely related with bat viruses. The source of origin of the virus is said to be Wuhan market. However, since bats were not sold in the market, there has to be an intermediate host that served as an immediate host for humans.

December 31, 2020

Pneumonia-like virus hits Wuhan

The port city of Wuhan, a port city of 11 million people in the Hubei province. The nature of the virus is unknown. China alerts WHO about the situation.

January 7, 2020

Officials identified the new virus named 2019-nCoV. It is found out that this virus belongs to the coronavirus family, which also includes a 2002 epidemic of SARS in China and common cold.

January 11, 2020

China confirms its first death from coronavirus. The death is said to be due to pneumonia-like symptoms.

January 13-16, 2020

The virus starts infecting neighboring countries such as Thailand and Japan. The people infected have visited the live animals market of Wuhan.

January 23, 2020

China places Wuhan under quarantine. The entire city is locked down to limit the spread of the disease. Also, there is an increase in the number of death tolls in China.


The WHO doesn’t constitute it as a public emergency of international concern. The officials say that there is no evidence of the virus spreading between humans outside of China or those who haven’t visited the Wuhan market.

January 28, 2020

Japan and the US start evacuating their citizens from Wuhan.


The number of cases reported in Germany, France, and Australia also increase

January 30, 2020

With the continued rise in the death rate, the shutdown on Chinese provinces, and new confirmed cases in the US, Taiwan, Thailand, Japan, and South Korea, WHO declares coronavirus as a global emergency.


Meanwhile, India and Philippines confirmed their first cases with one infected patient in each country.

January 31, 2020

Russia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom confirm their first cases of the virus.

February 2, 2020

First death outside of China reported. Philippines confirms its first death of a 22-year-old Chinese man who had traveled from Wuhan to Manila.

February 3, 2020

The cruise ship, Diamond Princess is quarantined in Japan after cases of coronavirus have been confirmed on board.

February 5, 2020

WHO releases a statement saying that there is no effective treatment for the coronavirus.

February 7, 2020

Li Wenliang, a Chinese doctor who was the first to announce concerns over coronavirus dies.


China introduces prison sentences for any citizen breaching with the quarantine rules.


Chinese researches suggest that pangolin may be link in animal to human transmission.

February 9, 2020

The number of deaths in China surpass that of the 2002-2003 SARS epidemic.


An investigative team from WHO departs for China.

February 11, 2020

WHO renames the virus as COVID-19

February 13, 2020

North Korea imposes a month-long quarantine for all the foreign visitors and those suspected with COVID-19.

February 14, 2020

France reports Europe’s first death from the COVID-19 virus.

February 19, 2020

Iran reports two death from coronavirus only hours after confirming its first cases

February 20, 2020

Russia bans the entry of Chinese citizens into the country.

February 23, 2020

Many countries close their borders with Iran as the number of infections are on a surge in the country.

March 6, 2020

European and US stock markets slump after experiencing the worst week since the 2008 financial crisis.

March 8, 2020

Italy places the state of Lombardy and 14 other areas under strict quarantine.

March 9, 2020

Iran releases 70,000 prisoners because of the virus outbreak without specifying whether they need to return to jail or not.

March 11, 2020

WHO declares coronavirus a pandemic.

March 12, 2020

India reports its first death of a 76-year-old man.

March 13, 2020

India reports its second death of a 69-year old woman from Delhi.

March 17, 2020

India reports its third death of a 64-year-old patient in Mumbai.

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The progression of coronavirus through the human body

The following table states the spread of the infective virus into human body and how it progresses further.

DAY 1-3

(80% of the patients experience these symptoms)

The start of the symptoms

COVID-19 might start in the upper respiratory tract after the completion of the incubation period ranging from 5-6 days in human body. Patients start feeling feverish and symptoms like cough and sore throat appear by Day 3.


DAY 4-9

(14% infected patients experience these symptoms)

Into the lungs

The virus reaches the lungs in 3 days and its starts creating difficulty in breathing any day between 4-9 days. Inflammation in the lungs can lead to acute respiratory distress

DAY 8-15

(5% of patients need to be rushed to the ICU)

Into the blood

The infections move into the blood and by the end of 15 days, life threatening complications might occur.


Discharged or dead

After three weeks, the patient might either be discharged or dead.

Does sex, age, and underlying conditions have an impact on the vulnerability of a person for the virus?

The death rate specifies the probability of a person dying if infected by the virus.

For factors like the age, sex, and the underlying medical conditions, the following is the death rate figures.

Death Rate = Total number of deaths / total number of all cases



With age, our immune system turns weak and so it is not able to protect us against normal and novel diseases. However, it is, in no way an indication that coronavirus will only infect old people and not young population. Coronavirus can infect person of any age demographic but the recovery from the virus infection is a task of medicines and our immune system. 


The following are the death rates for various age groups:

  • 80+ years old- 14.8%
  • 70-79 years old- 8%
  • 60-69 years old- 3.6%
  • 50-59 years old- 1.3%
  • 40-49 years old- 0.4%
  • 30-39 years old- 0.2%
  • 20-29 years old- 0.2%
  • 10-19 years old- 0.2%
  • 0-9 years old- no fatalities




The following is the death rate for the genders. 

  • Male- 2.8%
  • Female- 1.7%




It is true that if the person is suffering from any underlying disease then he/she is more prone to be susceptible to the virus. The following are some medical conditions and their death rates stating that people suffering from any disease needs to take special care. 

  • Cardiovascular disease – 10.5%
  • Diabetes- 7.3%
  • Chronic respiratory disease- 6.3%
  • Hypertension- 6.0%
  • Cancer- 5.6%
  • No underlying medical condition- 0.9%


The 10 Myths and Facts Associated With Coronavirus



COVID-19 cannot be transmitted in hot and humid areas or climate regions

Coronavirus can be transmitted in all the areas, including hot and humid climate regions as well. No matter the temperature, it is important for people to adopt protective measures to protect themselves against coronavirus.


Cold weather and snow can kill coronavirus

Cold weather or snow cannot kill coronavirus. Since the virus grows and progresses in the human body with a temperature of 37 degree Celsius, the external weather is of no effect to it.


A hot bath can prevent coronavirus disease

Although taking a hot bath will drive your stress away, it is not effective to prevent new coronavirus disease. Your normal body temperature is perfect for the growth of the virus and outside temperature won’t matter.


Coronavirus can also be transmitted through mosquitoes

Coronavirus is not transmitted through mosquito bites. It is infected from respiratory droplets or aerosols of a patient.


Hand dryers are effective in killing coronavirus

Hand dryers are also not effective in killing the COVID-19. You can although rub alcohol-based hand rub, but it is better to dry your hands with paper towels.


Sterilizing hands with UV lamps will kill the coronavirus

UV lamps for sterilizing of hands is not a healthy thing to do as UV radiation can cause skin irritation.


Natural remedies can help in curing COVID-19

There is no medicine or vaccine devised or formulated for COVID-19.


Antibiotics can kill the coronavirus

Antibiotics cannot be used for killing of coronavirus since it is effective in working against bacteria and not viruses.


Old people are more prone to be infected by coronavirus and not young people

Coronavirus can infect people of all ages be it old or young. However, people who have a pre-existing medical condition like asthma, diabetes, and heart disease are more vulnerable to the virus than the others.


Pneumonia vaccines work against coronavirus

Vaccines against pneumonia are not protective against coronavirus.


The State-Wise Cases of Coronavirus in India (as of 18 March, 2020)

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The state-wise cases of coronavirus in India

  • The total number of positive cases in India are 148.
  • The total deaths in the country are 3.
  • The number of discharged people is 14.

The Difference Between Total Cases, Active Cases, and Closed Cases?

Total Cases: This defines the total positive, confirmed, both past and present cases around the world. These include those patients that have recovered, those that are dead, and those that are currently seeking medical aid. The total coronavirus cases around the world is 98,739.

Active Cases: These cases are those patients that have been tested positive for coronavirus, and those that are currently under medical observation. These cases do not include discharged and dead cases. The active coronavirus cases around the world is 107,971.

Closed Cases: These include those cases that are closed, either, the patient has recovered and discharged or the patient is dead. The closed coronavirus cases around the world is 90,768 in which, 82,779 patients had recovered and discharged and 7,989 patients had died.

The Basic Protective Measures Against Coronavirus

The following tips will help everyone to fight back COVID-19 infection. Most of the people experience mild illness and recover but for others, the symptoms are more severe.



Wash your hands frequently.

Using soap and alcohol-based hand run kills the virus that maybe on your hands.


Keep social distance from people

Keep social distance from people. According to WHO, keep at least 1 meter or 3 feet distance between a healthy person and someone who is coughing and sneezing.


Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth

If your hands are contaminated, touching any part of your face transfers the virus into your system.  This can make you sick.

Follow good respiratory hygiene

If someone needs to cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with bent elbow or use a tissue and dispose it off immediately.

If you have symptoms like fever, cough, and difficulty in breathing seek medical aid

If you feel unwell, you need to talk with your local health authority. Calling in any healthcare facility will make sure that you are getting the right medical help.


Stay updated on COVID-19 information.

Stay informed on the latest developments regarding COVID-19, especially in your area.


 Real Time Data of Corona Virus


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