Medical Specialties: Family practice, Internal medicine, Pediatrics

Clinical Definition

Coronavirus is a genus in the family Coronaviridae. It is a causative agent of upper respiratory tract infections, which may range from the common cold to severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). Less commonly, coronavirus may also cause gastroenteritis, pancreatitis and infectious peritonitis. It may be transmitted through inhalation of respiratory droplets from an infected individual.

In Our Own Words

Coronavirus is a common type of virus that can cause upper respiratory infections. It is the second leading cause of the common cold behind the rhinovirus. Although, in most cases, coronaviruses only cause mild respiratory infections, they are also a cause of more serious infections, including severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). Coronavirus may be contracted through breathing in droplets from a cough or sneeze of an infected person. 

Relevant Conditions
Side Effects
  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Runny nose
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  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “About Coronavirus.” Accessed February 2014.
  • Penn State University. “Virus: Coronavirus.” Accessed February 2014.
  • World Health Organization. “Coronavirus Infections.” Accessed February 2014.
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