Human coronaviruses usually cause mild to moderate upper respiratory tract illness. Symptoms typically last a few days and can include runny nose, cough, sore throat, and fever. In people with weakened immune systems, coronaviruses occasionally cause lower respiratory tract diseases, such as pneumonia.
Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronavirus and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus can cause severe respiratory disease and death. Common symptoms include fever, cough, and breathing difficulties. Most people infected with these viruses also experience gastrointestinal symptoms, such as diarrhea. Some people with MERS have experienced kidney failure and pneumonia.
Last Updated November 22, 2013
Last Reviewed October 28, 2013