KGUN 9 On Your SideNewsCoronavirus


Human coronavirus types: What you need to know

FACTS: What you need to know about coronavirus
Posted at 5:48 PM, Mar 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-29 19:08:00-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — Public health officials are tracking the spread of COVID-19 throughout the globe. This article shares the differences of human coronavirus types.

According to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention, coronaviruses are named after the crown-like spikes on their exterior, which there are four main sub-groupings known as alpha, beta, gamma, and delta.

Human coronavirus types were established in the mid-1960s, according to the CDC. There are seven different human coronaviruses that can be contracted.

Below is a list of the seven human coronavirus types by CDC:

Common human coronavirus types:
1. 229E (alpha coronavirus)
2. NL63 (alpha coronavirus)
3. OC43 (beta coronavirus)
4. HKU1 (beta coronavirus)

More recent common human coronavirus types:
5. MERS-CoV (known as the beta coronavirus that causes Middle East Respiratory Syndrome - MERS)

  • MERS was first reported in Saudi Arabia in September 2012. MERS-CoV spreads from infected people to others through close contact, and can affect anyone, according to CDC reports.

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

  • SARS was first reported in Asia in February 2003. SARS-CoV spread to more than two dozen countries in North America, South America, Europe, and Asia. Since 2004 there have not been any SARS-CoV cases reported in the world, according to the CDC.

7. SARS-CoV-2 (known as the novel coronavirus that causes coronavirus disease 2019, or COVID-19)

  • COVID-19 is a novel (new) coronavirus that developed in 2019. The virus was first reported in Wuha, China.


COVID-19 is a respiratory disease that can be transmitted between people who are in close contact (within about 6 feet) and through respiratory droplets produced by an infected person who sneezes or coughs, according to the CDC. Symptoms of the virus are thought to appear within two to 14 days after exposure. Those symptoms include; fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Emergency warning signs include; difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, confusion, and blush lips or face.

According to report from the CDC, "The virus has been named “SARS-CoV-2” and the disease it causes has been named “coronavirus disease 2019” (abbreviated “COVID-19”)." The virus was first detected in China, which has spread to more than 100 locations including the United States.

If you have developed symptoms stay home and call your healthcare provider.

March 13, 2020:
President Donald Trump declared COVID-19 a national emergency, according to a press release from the White House.

March 11, 2020:
World Health Organization publiclyexternal icon categorized COVID-19 as a pandemic.

January 31, 2020:
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex M. Azar II declared a public health emergency for the U.S., according to U.S. Department of Public Health and Human Sevices.

January 30, 2020:
The International Health Regulations Emergency Committee of the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 outbreak a public health emergency concern, according WHO.