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Human coronavirus types
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  • Description:
    Coronaviruses are named for the crown-like spikes on their surface. There are four main sub-groupings of coronaviruses, known as alpha, beta, gamma, and delta.

    Human coronaviruses were first identified in the mid-1960s. The seven coronaviruses that can infect people are:

    Common human coronaviruses

    1. 229E (alpha coronavirus)

    2. NL63 (alpha coronavirus)

    3. OC43 (beta coronavirus)

    4. HKU1 (beta coronavirus)

    Other human coronaviruses

    5. MERS-CoV (the beta coronavirus that causes Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, or MERS)

    6. SARS-CoV (the beta coronavirus that causes severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS)

    7. 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

    People around the world commonly get infected with human coronaviruses 229E, NL63, OC43, and HKU1.

    Sometimes coronaviruses that infect animals can evolve and make people sick and become a new human coronavirus. Three recent examples of this are 2019-nCoV, SARS-CoV, and MERS-CoV.

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