Scientific/Biological Classification (Taxonomy) of Coronavirus
The present outbreak of a coronavirus-associated acute respiratory disease called coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) is the third documented spillover of an animal coronavirus to humans in only two decades that has resulted in a major epidemic. The Coronaviridae Study Group (CSG) of the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses, which is responsible for developing the classification of viruses and taxon nomenclature of the family Coronaviridae, has assessed the placement of the human pathogen, tentatively named 2019-nCoV, within the Coronaviridae. Based on phylogeny, taxonomy and established practice, the CSG recognizes this virus as forming a sister clade to the prototype human and bat severe acute respiratory syndrome coronaviruses (SARS-CoVs) of the species Severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus, and designates it as SARS-CoV-2.
The above full taxonomy of selected coronaviruses in comparison with the taxonomy of humans (the founders of virology and other eminent scientists represent individual human beings for the sake of this comparison), which is given only for categories (ranks) that are shared with the virus taxonomy. Note that these two taxonomies were independently developed using completely different criteria. Although no equivalence is implied, the species of coronaviruses is interpreted sensu stricto as accepted for the species of humans.