See full answer A novel coronavirus is a new strain of coronavirus that has not been previously identified in humans. Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses transmitting between animals and people that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS-CoV) and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS-CoV). Reports suggest that 2019-nCoV, COVID19, infection can cause mild to severe disease and be fatal in some. Common observed symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia or severe acute respiratory syndrome, particularly in those with other chronic underlying health conditions, and even death.