The name "coronavirus" comes from the Latin corona, which means crown or halo. It refers to the fringe around microscopic virus particles that have spiky edge resembling a royal crown. They are commonly found in animals, but there are seven coronaviruses that are zoonotic, meaning they can jump from animals to humans.
Usually, symptoms are mild, like a common cold — coughs, runny noses, sore throats, headaches, fever and general lethargy. But sometimes a novel virus, which humans have no defenses against, can pose a lethal threat.
As 2019-nCoV, the coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, China, over the past few weeks, continues to spread to more than a dozen countries, it’s crucial to understand what it does to the human body.
It’s also important to know who within the population is at the greatest risk. As with all viruses, it is the most vulnerable: the young, the elderly and the chronically ill.
In fact, many of the patients who have died in Wuhan, China, had existing conditions including cirrhosis of the liver, hypertension and diabetes, according to the Chinese government health commission.
At the moment, there is no cure for the coronavirus because it is so new. It may take many months to develop a vaccine, an effort already underway by global organizations, private companies and governments.
Watch the video here to learn how coronavirus is transmitted, how it infects people and affects their bodies, and what can be done to treat it.