Q&A about Novel Coronovirus (For the General Public)

April 4, 2020

1  About the Novel Coronavirus

Q1  What kind of virus is coronavirus?


Up to now, seven types of coronavirus have been found that infect humans.  The novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV2) which emerged as a problem in December last year is one of these.  Of the seven, four viruses account for 10 to 15% of common colds (35% during the epidemic period), and many are mild. The remaining two viruses are Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which occurred in 2002, and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), which occurred since 2012. The coronavirus infects all animals, but rarely infects other types of animals. It is also known to lose infectivity by alcohol disinfection (70%).


Q2  Is it true that the novel coronavirus is transmitted from bats?


In recent years, two types of coronaviruses thought to be of animal origin have infected humans.  These are the "Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)" which occurred in 2002 and the "Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS)" which occurred after 2012. No definitive evidence has been found that the novel coronavirus is of animal origin, but because its genetic sequence is similar to that of the SARS virus which originated from bats, it is thought to be possible that bats are also the origin of the novel coronavirus.