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Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2[1] is a strain of coronavirus that causes COVID-19 , the illness responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic.[2] First identified in the city of Wuhan, Hubei, China, the World Health Organization declared the outbreak a pandemic in March 2020.[3][4]


Human to human transmission of SARS‑CoV‑2 was confirmed on 20 January 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic.[5][6] Transmission was initially assumed to occur primarily via respiratory droplets from coughs and sneezes within a range of about 1.8 meters.[7][8] Laser light scattering experiments suggest that speaking is an additional mode of transmission.[9]


SARS‑CoV‑2 belongs to the broad family of viruses known as coronaviruses.[10] It is a positive-sense single-stranded RNA virus, with a single linear RNA segment. Coronaviruses infect humans, other mammals, including livestock and companion animals, and avian species.[11]Like the SARS-related coronavirus implicated in the 2003 SARS outbreak, SARS‑CoV‑2 is a member of the subgenus Sarbecovirus beta-CoV lineage B.[12][13]

Variants 1

The World Health Organization has currently declared five variants of concern, which are as follows,[14]Alpha Lineage B.1.1.7 emerged in the United Kingdom in September 2020, with evidence of increased transmissibility and virulence. Notable mutations include N501Y and P681H.Beta Lineage B.1.351 emerged in South Africa in May 2020, with evidence of increased transmissibility and changes to antigenicity.[14]

Variants 2

Gamma Lineage P.1 emerged in Brazil in November 2020, also with evidence of increased transmissibility and virulence, alongside changes to antigenicity. Delta Lineage B.1.617.2 emerged in India in October 2020. There is also evidence of increased transmissibility and changes to antigenicity.Omicron Lineage B.1.1.529 emerged in Botswana in November 2021.[14]


Bats are considered the most likely natural reservoir of SARS‑CoV‑2.[15][16] Differences between the bat coronavirus and SARS‑CoV‑2 suggest that humans may have been infected via an intermediate host,[17] although the source of introduction into humans remains unknown.[18][19]

Virology 1

Each SARS-CoV-2 virion is 60 to 140 nanometers in diameter,[20][21] its mass within the global human populace has been estimated as being between 0.1 and 1.0 kg.[22] Like other coronaviruses, SARS-CoV-2 has four structural proteins; the N protein holds the RNA genome, and the S, E, and M proteins together create the viral envelope.[23]

Virology 2

SARS-CoV-2 has a linear, positive-sense, single-stranded RNA genome about 30,000 bases long.[11] Its genome has a bias against cytosine and guanine nucleotides, like other coronaviruses.[24] The genome has the highest composition of U, 32.2 percent, followed by A, 29.9 percent, and a similar composition of G, 19.6 percent and C, 18.3 percent.[25]

Virology 3

Virus infections start when viral particles bind to host surface cellular receptors.[26] Protein modeling experiments on the spike protein of the virus soon suggested that SARS‑CoV‑2 has sufficient affinity to the receptor angiotensin converting enzyme 2 on human cells to use them as a mechanism of cell entry.[27]


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