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. 2020 May;94:119-124.
doi: 10.1016/j.ijid.2020.03.071. Epub 2020 Apr 1.

Insight Into 2019 Novel Coronavirus - An Updated Interim Review and Lessons From SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV

Free PMC article

Insight Into 2019 Novel Coronavirus - An Updated Interim Review and Lessons From SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV

Mingxuan Xie et al. Int J Infect Dis. .
Free PMC article


Background: The rapid spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by a zoonotic beta-coronavirus entitled 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), has become a global threat. Awareness of the biological features of 2019-nCoV should be updated in time and needs to be comprehensively summarized to help optimize control measures and make therapeutic decisions.

Methods: Based on recently published literature, official documents and selected up-to-date preprint studies, we reviewed the virology and origin, epidemiology, clinical manifestations, pathology and treatment of 2019-nCoV infection, in comparison with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection.

Results: The genome of 2019-nCoV partially resembled SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV, and indicated a bat origin. The COVID-19 generally had a high reproductive number, a long incubation period, a short serial interval and a low case fatality rate (much higher in patients with comorbidities) than SARS and MERS. Clinical presentation and pathology of COVID-19 greatly resembled SARS and MERS, with less upper respiratory and gastrointestinal symptoms, and more exudative lesions in post-mortems. Potential treatments included remdesivir, chloroquine, tocilizumab, convalescent plasma and vaccine immunization (when possible).

Conclusion: The initial experience from the current pandemic and lessons from the previous two pandemics can help improve future preparedness plans and combat disease progression.

Keywords: 2019- nCoV; COVID-19; MERS- CoV; SARS-CoV; SARS-CoV- 2.

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