African Journal of
Microbiology Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Microbiol. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0808
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJMR
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 5233

Full Length Research Paper

Viruses, coronaviruses and COVID-19: A note for non-virology specialists

Yakubu Egigogo Raji
  • Yakubu Egigogo Raji
  • Faculty of Natural and Applied Sciences, Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University, Niger State, Nigeria.
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Yahaya Muhammad Sanusi
  • Yahaya Muhammad Sanusi
  • Department of Theriogenology and Animal Production, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, Nigeria.
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Zamberi Bin Sekawi
  • Zamberi Bin Sekawi
  • Department of Medical Microbiology and Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Selangor, Malaysia.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 26 September 2020
  •  Accepted: 15 December 2020
  •  Published: 31 January 2021


An outbreak of a respiratory disease with severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) – like manifestations emerged in late December 2019 in the Wuhan city of China. The causative agent of this disease was later identified to be a novel Coronavirus. Subsequently, the disease was named coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) by the World Health Organisation and later declared as a pandemic. The outbreak of COVID-19 came with many misinformation and misconceptions about viruses and the COVID-19 disease. Questions have been asked by non - virologists and the general public about what viruses are. Some wondered if viruses are living organisms or not. While some asked how big viruses are or if all viruses and the COVID-19 virus is artificially created. Yet others attributed the outbreak to the new quantum leap in the electromagnet field; the latest 5G technology. There are also concerns raised about the new virus being a bioweapon or an act of biowarfare. These numerous questions needed to be clarified concisely with available scientific knowledge. Thus, this review is providing answers to the 10 frequently asked questions aimed at informing the non - virologist in the academic field and beyond.


Key words: Virus size, virus origin, giant viruses, synthetic viruses, SARS-Cov-2, bioweapon.