How Many Coronavirus Strains are There?

microscopic magnification of coronavirus that causes flu and chronic pneumonia leading to death

How many different Coronavirus Strains are there?

Six species of human coronaviruses are known (Coronavirus Strains), with one species subdivided into two different strains, making seven strains of human coronaviruses altogether:

  • 229E (alpha)
  • NL63 (alpha)
  • OC43 (beta)
  • HKU1 (beta
  • MERS-CoV, a beta virus that causes Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS)
  • SARS-CoV, a beta virus that causes severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)
  • SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19

Time to recover from coronavirus

Using available preliminary data, the median time from onset to clinical recovery for mild cases is approximately 2 weeks, light cases 2-5 days and is 3-6 weeks for patients with severe or critical disease. This depends n what Coronavirus Strains are active in your body.

Coronavirus

Coronavirus

How Coronavirus Strains are created

Coronaviruses (and their Coronavirus Strains) have all their genetic material in something called RNA (ribonucleic acid). RNA has some similarities to DNA, but they aren’t the same.
  • DNA is a molecule composed of two polynucleotide chains that coil around each other to form a double helix carrying genetic instructions for the development, functioning, growth and reproduction of all known organisms and many viruses.
  • RNA is a polymeric molecule essential in various biological roles in coding, decoding, regulation and expression of genes. RNA and DNA are nucleic acids. Along with lipids, proteins, and carbohydrates, nucleic acids constitute one of the four major macromolecules essential for all known forms of life.
When viruses infect you, they attach to your cells, get inside them, and make copies of their RNA, which helps them spread. If there’s a copying mistake, the RNA gets changed. Scientists call those changes mutations.These changes happen randomly and by accident. It’s a normal part of what happens to viruses as they multiply and spread.

Because the changes are random, they may make little to no difference in a person’s health. Other times, they may cause disease. For example, one reason you need a flu shot every year is because influenza viruses change from year to year. This year’s flu virus probably isn’t exactly the same one that circulated last year.

If a virus has a random change that makes it easier to infect people and it spreads, that strain will become more common.

The bottom line is that all viruses, including coronaviruses, change over time. Scientists and doctors call slightly different versions of a virus new strains.

 

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