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What is a coronavirus? - Elizabeth Cox

  • 673,243 Views
  • 17,188 Questions Answered
  • TEDEd Animation

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For almost a decade, scientists chased the source of a deadly new virus through China’s tallest mountains and most isolated caverns. They finally found it in the bats of Shitou Cave. The virus in question was a coronavirus that caused an epidemic of severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, in 2003. So what exactly is a coronavirus, and how does it spread? Elizabeth Cox explains.

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About TED-Ed Animations

TED-Ed Animations feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed Animation? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Elizabeth Cox
  • Director Anton Bogaty
  • Narrator Bethany Cutmore-Scott
  • Animator Anton Bogaty
  • Storyboard Artist Anton Bogaty
  • Art Director Anton Bogaty
  • Compositor Anton Bogaty
  • Music Jarrett Farkas
  • Sound Designer Weston Fonger
  • Director of Production Gerta Xhelo
  • Editorial Producer Alex Rosenthal, Elizabeth Cox
  • Producer Bethany Cutmore-Scott
  • Fact-checker Eden Girma
  • Science Consultant Edsel Maurice T. Salvaña, Nassim Assefi
  • Special Thanks Kim Preshoff
  • See more
Additional Resources for you to Explore
Although there are hundreds of known coronaviruses, only seven of them are known to infect humans, each with varying symptoms. While characteristics of the latest Covid-19 virus make it very successful at infecting humans, there are also traits that may allow us to better control it.

The coronavirus is here to stay. How can we prevent getting infected? Watch this in a Nutshell lesson:
The Coronavirus Explained & What You Should Do. You should now have an even better awareness of how to potentially protect yourself against infection.

The Center for Disease Control is always an fantastic place to start when you want to find out information on a disease or emerging worldwide health trend. Click here and find out more information on COVID-19.

John Hopkins Medicine has a coronavirus site based on the COVID-19 pandemic. Visit it to find out symptoms, ways to avoid infection, and how it has spread worldwide.

Wondering about the effectiveness of vaccines? Watch this TED Ed lesson: Why do we need to get a flu shot every year?

Effective handwashing can actually prevent the spread of viruses. What does that mean? Watch these videos from the Center for Disease control.

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Create and share a new lesson based on this one.

About TED-Ed Animations

TED-Ed Animations feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed Animation? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Elizabeth Cox
  • Director Anton Bogaty
  • Narrator Bethany Cutmore-Scott
  • Animator Anton Bogaty
  • Storyboard Artist Anton Bogaty
  • Art Director Anton Bogaty
  • Compositor Anton Bogaty
  • Music Jarrett Farkas
  • Sound Designer Weston Fonger
  • Director of Production Gerta Xhelo
  • Editorial Producer Alex Rosenthal, Elizabeth Cox
  • Producer Bethany Cutmore-Scott
  • Fact-checker Eden Girma
  • Science Consultant Edsel Maurice T. Salvaña, Nassim Assefi
  • Special Thanks Kim Preshoff
  • See more