The first known severe disease caused by a coronavirus in humans emerged with the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) epidemic in China which killed 774 people during its 2002/3 outbreak. The Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), the second human fatal disease, started in 2012 in Saudi Arabia which resulted in 858 fatalities. In December 2019, a new virus, SARS- CoV-2 (COVID-19) originated in China and began generating headlines worldwide because of its unprecedented speed of transmission; 5.2 million people infected and 338,480 died from December 2019 to May 2020. These human coronaviruses are believed to be of animal origin and reached humans through species jump.

Who Should Enrol

Veterinary, para-veterinary and allied animal and human health professionals and students or anyone who would like to know more on this topic.

Course Design

Online CPD course

Course Content

Module 1. Zoonotic origin and animal hosts of coronaviruses causing human disease pandemics (1 CPD point)

Course Highlights

Coronaviruses are well known for their high frequency of recombination and high mutation rates, allowing them to adapt to new hosts and ecological niches. This review summarizes what we know about whether wild- and domesticated animals are the natural reservoir hosts, intermediate hosts or incidental hosts of coronaviruses. Results of experimental infection and transmission using different wild-, domesticated- and pet animals are reviewed. This review also highlights the need for the implementation of “One Health” measures and practices to improve human health and reduce the emergence of pandemic viruses.

The learner will be able to study and complete the course material and online test at his/her own pace.

Learning Outcomes

After completion of the course the learner will have a sound knowledge of the following:

  • Humans Coronaviruses (HCoVs)
  • Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV)
  • Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV)
  • Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19)
  • Zoonotic origin and animals susceptible to SARS-CoV-2



The module will have a multiple-choice test.


South African Veterinary Council (SAVC)

1 CPD Point



In order to qualify for CPD points, the learner will be required to complete the course and pass the multiple-choice test with 80%.

Zoonotic origin and animal hosts of coronaviruses causing human disease pandemics

1.0 CPD Points