CORONAVIRUS has infected millions and more than 400,000 have died globally.
But the virulent virus that seems to have come out of the blue belongs to a family with members you may be familiar with.
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What is orthocoronavirinae?
There are hundreds of other viruses in this subfamily, but only seven of these coronaviruses are known to affect people.
They are also surrounded by a “fatty protein coat” and rely on the organisms they infect (hosts) for their very survival.
Most coronaviruses circulate among such animals as pigs, camels, bats and cats.
It is only when they mutate that they spread to humans.
How is it linked to coronavirus?
Covid-19 virus is a member of the orthocoronavirinae subfamily of viruses.
It is thought that Covid-19 jumped to humans from animals at a wet market in Wuhan, China.
But it has not yet been proven for certain what animal it came from, with bats and pangolins the prime suspects.
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What other viruses are in the sub family?
Four types cause usually mild respiratory symptoms, including the common cold which circulates in humans all the time.
Three more famous coronaviruses have caused international outbreaks, these being SARS, MERS, and SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19).