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Basic Guide: Coronavirus

Coronaviruses are a group of viruses that have a halo or crown-like (corona) appearance when viewed under a microscope.

These viruses are a common cause of mild to moderate upper-respiratory illness in humans and are associated with respiratory disease in animals.

The image to the right shows a sputum sample from a SARS patient (used with permission of

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How long can SARS-CoV survive in the environment?

Some research laboratories suggested that the virus might survive for several days. The amount of time is affected by several factors such as the type of material and body fluid in the virus or some environmental conditions as in temperature and humidity.

Are there disinfectants available that can inactivate (kill) SARS-CoV?

Related viruses that have similar physical and biochemical properties can be killed with bleach, ammonia or alcohol, or cleaning agents yet there are no disinfectants for SARS-CoV.


  • SARS Quiz
    In this quiz you will find questions based on the information available in Basic Guide, Virus and Prevention.

  • Crossword puzzle 1: Basic Guide
    Online crossword puzzle based on Basic Guide.

  • SARS Quest - Averting An Outbreak
    In this short Flash game, you will be taking on the role of the Health Minister of the imaginary country of Asitwon. Your aim is to use all necessary means to prevent a SARS outbreak in the country.

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