As the virus continues to spread, it’s important to answer a number of key questions about corona-viruses, the 2019 Novel Corona-virus’ pathogenic nature, and guidelines for disinfection: Are Corona-viruses New?
While the name of the 2019 Novel Corona-virus may imply that corona-viruses are “novel,” this family of viruses has actually been documented since the mid 1960s. Most corona-viruses are present in animals, such as bats and camels, and do not spread to humans. However, in two recent instances—severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle-East respiratory syndrome (MERS)—the CDC has documented corona-viruses spreading from animals to people. Along with these two earlier corona-viruses, the 2019 Novel Corona-virus marks the third human corona-virus to cause severe illness.
What Classifies a Virus as a Corona-virus?
Corona-viruses is enveloped viruses, they are RNA viruses that are surrounded by an outer coating comprised of a lipid bilayer (water-insoluble fatty coating). Enveloped viruses spread through a “budding off” process during which a new virus becomes wrapped in an outer coating. However, if this layer is dissolved, these viruses are relatively easy to kill—making them more susceptible to disinfectants than non-enveloped viruses. The Novel Corona-virus therefore falls into a category of viruses that are most susceptible to disinfectants.