Coronavirus or the COVID-19 has taken the world by storm, claiming over 3000 lives all across the world. Coronaviruses are a group of viruses that cause respiratory tract infections that are typically mild, such as the common cold, though rarer forms such as SARS, MERS, and COVID-19 can be lethal. The deadly virus has affected over 96,000 people across the world, most of which are from China, the epicentre of the virus. The virus becomes even more lethal as the vaccines or medicines to cure the disease are yet to be found. These are enveloped viruses with a positive-sense single-stranded RNA genome and a nucleocapsid of helical symmetry. The genome size of coronaviruses ranges from approximately 27 to 34 kilobases, the largest among known RNA viruses.
Coronaviruses were first discovered in the 1960s. They were infectious bronchitis virus in chickens and two viruses from the nasal cavities of human patients with the common cold that were subsequently named human coronavirus 229E and human coronavirus OC43. The most deadly was the SARS virus that was discovered in 2003.
The first cases of the latest Coronavirus were reported in December 2019 when a pneumonia outbreak was reported in Wuhan, China, the epicentre of the outbreak. As of 4 March 2020, there have been at least 3,214 confirmed deaths and more than 94,250 confirmed cases in the coronavirus pneumonia outbreak. China has already declared it an emergency. As per the research conducted by the World Health Organisation, the virus has a 96% similarity to a bat coronavirus.