What is Coronavirus?

The coronavirus is a family of viruses that is common to people and other species of animals.  It is a type of virus that causes respiratory illnesses that includes the common cold and severe cases such as the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV) which was first detected in Asia in 2003. There have been no reported cases of SARS-CoV since 2004.

A novel type of coronavirus was discovered in 2019, first in China and now other locations globally, including the U.S. The origin is thought to likely be from an animal that was then transmitted to humans. The novel virus has recently been named Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome - 2  (SARS-CoV-2). The disease itself is being referred to as coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

1. The Virus
SARS-CoV-2 is part of a family of viruses known as a coronavirus that causes respiratory illness. The virus has projections on its surface that have led to their name corona derived from Latin, meaning crown. Testing for antiviral medications is ongoing, and no vaccine exists yet.
1. The Virus
SARS-CoV-2 is part of a family of viruses known as a coronavirus that causes respiratory illness. The virus has projections on its surface that have lead to their name corona derived from Latin, meaning crown. Testing for antiviral medications is ongoing, but no vaccine exists yet.
2. Contact
The virus is thought to spread through close person-to-person contact (e.g. between people within about 6 feet of each other) from droplets of a cough or sneeze or possibly through contact with infected surfaces.
3. Infection
People may become infected after the virus gets transferred to the mouth, nose, or eyes. Observed symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath.
4. Replication
Populations of viruses do not grow through cell division because they are not cells. Instead, they use the machinery and metabolism of a host cell to produce new copies of themselves. The newly replicated virus particles are released from the host cell and free to infect other cells of the host.
5. Spread
People are most contagious when they are showing symptoms,  though in some reported cases spread might be possible before symptoms are shown. The virus can travel in droplets from a cough or sneeze.
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Reflect on this...
The following data is adapted from the World Health Organization. The graphs depicted represent the number of confirmed cases over time worldwide, in China, and in the US.  Make observations to provide evidence to support your answers to the questions that follow.
China
Why does this graph look so similar to the worldwide data?

What might the shallower curve in late February indicate?
World
This data looks almost linear; can you find evidence that it is not?
United States
Why do you think the graph is level to start then increases steeply?

The US is currently limited in the number of tests that can be run for the virus each day. How might this affect the graph?

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Sources
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Symptoms (February 29, 2020).  Retrieved from (March 5, 2020): https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/symptoms.html

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Prevention and Treatment (February 15, 2020). Retrieved from (March 5, 2020): https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/prevention-treatment.html

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: How COVID-19 Spreads (March 4, 2020). Retrieved from (March 5, 2020): https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/transmission.html

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Frequently Asked Questions and Answers (March 3, 2020). Retrieved from (March 5, 2020): https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) (December 6, 2017). Retrieved from (March 5, 2020): https://www.cdc.gov/sars/index.html

World Health Organization: Coronavirus (n.d.).  Retrieved from (March 5, 2020): https://www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Summary (March 3, 2020). Retrieved from (March 5, 2020): https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/summary.html

Graphs adapted from World Health Organization: Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Situation (March 5, 2020). Retrieved from (March 5, 2020): https://experience.arcgis.com/experience/ 685d0ace521648f8a5beeeee1b9125cd

https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/health" Health vector created by freepik - www.freepik.com

CK-12 Foundation: Virus Replication. Retrieved from (March 9, 2020): https://flexbooks.ck12.org/cbook/ck-12-biology-flexbook-2.0/section/7.13/primary/lesson/virus-replication-bio