Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
, 109, 102433
[Online ahead of print]

The Epidemiology and Pathogenesis of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Outbreak


The Epidemiology and Pathogenesis of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Outbreak

Hussin A Rothan et al. J Autoimmun.


Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is caused by SARS-COV2 and represents the causative agent of a potentially fatal disease that is of great global public health concern. Based on the large number of infected people that were exposed to the wet animal market in Wuhan City, China, it is suggested that this is likely the zoonotic origin of COVID-19. Person-to-person transmission of COVID-19 infection led to the isolation of patients that were subsequently administered a variety of treatments. Extensive measures to reduce person-to-person transmission of COVID-19 have been implemented to control the current outbreak. Special attention and efforts to protect or reduce transmission should be applied in susceptible populations including children, health care providers, and elderly people. In this review, we highlights the symptoms, epidemiology, transmission, pathogenesis, phylogenetic analysis and future directions to control the spread of this fatal disease.

Keywords: COVID-19; Coronavirus; Pathogenesis; Pneumonia; Wuhan city.

Conflict of interest statement

Declaration of competing interest The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


Figure 1
Figure 1
The chronological incidence of COVID-19 infections and death cases in China. Infections with COVID-19 appears in December 2019. At the time of preparing this manuscript, February 16, 2020 there have been 51,174 people who have contracted the infection in China, and more than 1666 people have died.
Fig. 2
Fig. 2
The systemic and respiratory disorders caused by COVID-19 infection. The incubation period of COVID-19 infection is approximately 5.2 days. There are general similarities in the symptoms between COVID-19 and previous betacoronavirus. However, COVID-19 showed some unique clinical features that include the targeting of the lower airway as evident by upper respiratory tract symptoms like rhinorrhoea, sneezing, and sore throat. Additionally, patients infected with COVID-19 developed intestinal symptoms like diarrhoea only a low percentage of MERS-CoV or SARS-CoV patients exhibited diarrhoea.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 1 article


    1. Bogoch, Watts A., Thomas-Bachli A., Huber C., Kraemer M.U.G., Khan K. Pneumonia of unknown etiology in wuhan, China: potential for international spread via commercial air travel. J. Trav. Med. 2020 - PMC - PubMed
    1. Lu H., Stratton C.W., Tang Y.W. Outbreak of pneumonia of unknown etiology in wuhan China: the mystery and the miracle. J. Med. Virol. 2020;92(4):401–402. - PubMed
    1. Zhao S., Lin Q., Ran J., Musa S.S., Yang G., Wang W. Preliminary estimation of the basic reproduction number of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in China, from 2019 to 2020: a data-driven analysis in the early phase of the outbreak. Int. J. Infect. Dis. : IJID : Off. Publ. Int. Soc. Infect. Dis. 2020;92:214–217. - PMC - PubMed
    1. Du Toit A. Outbreak of a novel coronavirus. Nat. Rev. Microbiol. 2020;18(123) - PMC - PubMed
    1. Ren L.L., Wang Y.M., Wu Z.Q., Xiang Z.C., Guo L., Xu T. Identification of a novel coronavirus causing severe pneumonia in human: a descriptive study. Chinese Med J. 2020 - PubMed

LinkOut - more resources