Common human coronaviruses
Common human coronaviruses, including types 229E, NL63, OC43, and HKU1, generally cause mild to moderate upper respiratory illness, such as the common cold. Most people become infected with these viruses at some point in their lives. These diseases usually last a short time.

Symptoms can include.

runny nose
throat pain
a general feeling of being unwell
Human coronaviruses can sometimes cause lower respiratory diseases, such as pneumonia or bronchitis. This is more common in people with cardiopulmonary disease, people with weakened immune systems, infants, and older adults.

Other human coronaviruses

Two other human coronaviruses, MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV, are known to frequently cause severe symptoms. Symptoms of MERS generally include fever, cough, and shortness of breath that often progress to pneumonia. Approximately 3 or 4 out of 10 patients reported with MERS have died. MERS cases continue to occur, mainly in the Arabian Peninsula. The symptoms of SARS often include fever, chills, and body aches that usually progress to pneumonia. No human cases of SARS have been reported anywhere in the world since 2004.


Your healthcare provider may order laboratory tests on respiratory samples and serum (part of your blood) to detect human coronaviruses. Lab tests are more likely if you have a serious illness or are suspected of having MERS.

If you have symptoms, you should inform your healthcare provider of any recent travel or contact with animals. Most MERS-CoV infections have been reported from countries on the Arabian Peninsula. Therefore, reporting a history of travel or contact with camels or camel products is very important when it comes to diagnosing MERS.


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