Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. Some cause respiratory illness in people, ranging from mild common colds to severe illnesses. Others cause illness in animals. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can infect people then spread from person to person through close contact.
Novel coronaviruses are new strains of the virus that have not been previously identified in humans.
This strain of coronavirus (COVID-19) does not appear to be as severe as other coronaviruses, such as SARS. Many patients have reported only mild symptoms. There is evidence of person-to-person spread.