The Wuhan virus belongs to a family of viruses known as coronaviruses. These viruses, named for the crown-like spikes on their surfaces, infect mostly bats, pigs and small mammals. But they mutate easily and can jump from animals to humans, and from one human to another.The viruses can make people sick, usually with a mild to moderate upper respiratory tract illness, similar to a common cold. Coronavirus symptoms include a runny nose, cough, sore throat, possibly a headache and maybe a fever, which can last for a couple of days.
For those with a weakened immune system, the elderly and the very young, there’s a chance the virus could cause a lower, and much more serious, respiratory tract illness like a pneumonia or bronchitis.
There are a handful of human coronaviruses that are known to be deadly.