Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some causing illness in people and others that circulate among animals, including camels, cats and bats. Analysis of the genetic tree of this virus is ongoing to know the specific source of the virus.

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), another coronavirus that emerged and infected people, came from civet cats, while Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), another coronavirus also infected people, came from camels.