Characteristics of and Public Health Responses to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Outbreak in China

J Clin Med. 2020 Feb 20;9(2):575. doi: 10.3390/jcm9020575.


In December 2019, cases of unidentified pneumonia with a history of exposure in the Huanan Seafood Market were reported in Wuhan, Hubei Province. A novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, was identified to be accountable for this disease. Human-to-human transmission is confirmed, and this disease (named COVID-19 by World Health Organization (WHO)) spread rapidly around the country and the world. As of 18 February 2020, the number of confirmed cases had reached 75,199 with 2009 fatalities. The COVID-19 resulted in a much lower case-fatality rate (about 2.67%) among the confirmed cases, compared with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). Among the symptom composition of the 45 fatality cases collected from the released official reports, the top four are fever, cough, short of breath, and chest tightness/pain. The major comorbidities of the fatality cases include hypertension, diabetes, coronary heart disease, cerebral infarction, and chronic bronchitis. The source of the virus and the pathogenesis of this disease are still unconfirmed. No specific therapeutic drug has been found. The Chinese Government has initiated a level-1 public health response to prevent the spread of the disease. Meanwhile, it is also crucial to speed up the development of vaccines and drugs for treatment, which will enable us to defeat COVID-19 as soon as possible.

Keywords: 2019-nCoV; COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; clinical characteristics; coronavirus; diagnosis; pneumonia; prevention and control; public health; treatment.

Publication types

  • Review