Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) is a particular strain of coronavirus that has not been previously identified in humans. There is very limited information on transmission, severity and clinical impact with only a small number of cases reported thus far.
In general, coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that includes viruses that may cause a range of illnesses in humans, from the common cold to SARS. Viruses of this family also cause a number of animal diseases. MERS-CoV is a particular strain of coronavirus which was formerly referred to as novel coronavirus (nCoV).