The End of COVID


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We’ve come to understand coronaviruses more since the COVID-nineteen pandemic.  Research on these viruses stepped up in 2003 with the SARS outbreak. Until then, we merely thought of these viruses in terms of the common cold. But SARS-CoV-one was highly contagious and fatal. It spurred people to mask widely in Taiwan and the Far East where the outbreak was centered.  

A smaller outbreak with another coronavirus happened about a decade later with MERS which was transmitted from camels to humans through bats.  Now we’re learning about past outbreaks that were also caused by this family of viruses and those also made the jump from animals to humans.  The OC-forty-three virus came from cows and caused an epidemic in Russia in 1899 that had been described as a flu outbreak.  Another human coronavirus NL-sixty-three likely crossed from bats to humans around 700 years ago. And the HKU-one may have come from mice.    

They’ve evolved and now give us what we know as the common cold. We’re hopeful that one day COVID virus will also taper off and pose less of a threat to people.    One thing to count on is that there are many more viruses in animals that have the potential to “jump” to humans and cause severe disease.     

Some estimate that 1,000 of these viruses exist. We need a public health surveillance network we can depend on when the next one shows up.  

We are Drs. David Niesel and Norbert Herzog, at UTMB and Quinnipiac University, where biomedical discoveries shape the future of medicine.   For much more and our disclaimer go to or subscribe to our podcast. Sign up for expanded print episodes at or our podcasts at:  Medical Discovery News ( 

More Information

COVID's Cold Cousins
Four largely ignored coronaviruses circulate in humans without causing great harm and may portend the future for SARS-CoV-2

Provisional Death Counts for COVID-19
The provisional counts for COVID-19 deaths are based on a current flow of mortality data in the National Vital Statistics System. National provisional counts include deaths occurring within the 50 states and the District of Columbia that have been received and coded as of the date specified. It is important to note that it can take several weeks for death records to be submitted to National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), processed, coded, and tabulated.