Coronaviruses and SARS-CoV-2: A Brief Overview

Anesth Analg. 2020 Jul;131(1):93-96. doi: 10.1213/ANE.0000000000004845.


In late December 2019, several cases of pneumonia of unknown origin were reported from China, which in early January 2020 were announced to be caused by a novel coronavirus. The virus was later denominated severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and defined as the causal agent of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Despite massive attempts to contain the disease in China, the virus has spread globally, and COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) in March 2020. Here we provide a short background on coronaviruses, and describe in more detail the novel SARS-CoV-2 and attempts to identify effective therapies against COVID-19.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anesthesiologists
  • Betacoronavirus*
  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus Infections / drug therapy
  • Coronavirus Infections / therapy*
  • Coronavirus Infections / transmission
  • Critical Care
  • Humans
  • Pandemics
  • Pneumonia, Viral / drug therapy
  • Pneumonia, Viral / therapy*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / transmission
  • SARS-CoV-2