An outbreak of a novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) infection has recently emerged and rapidly spreading in humans causing a significant threat to international health and the economy. Rapid assessment and warning are crucial for an outbreak analysis in response to serious public health. SARS-CoV-2 shares highly homological sequences with SARS-CoVs causing highly lethal pneumonia with respiratory distress and clinical symptoms similar to those reported for SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV infections. Notably, some COVID-19 patients also expressed neurologic signs like nausea, headache, and vomiting. Several studies have reported that coronaviruses are not only causing respiratory illness but also invade the central nervous system through a synapse-connected route. SARS-CoV infections are reported in both patients and experimental animals' brains. Interestingly, some COVID-19 patients have shown the presence of SARS-CoV-2 virus in their cerebrospinal fluid. Considering the similarities between SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 in various aspects, it remains to clarify whether the potent invasion of SARS-CoV-2 may affect in COVID-19 patients. All these indicate that more detailed criteria are needed for the treatment and the prevention of SARS-CoV-2 infected patients. In the absence of potential interventions for COVID-19, there is an urgent need for an alternative strategy to control the spread of this disease.
Keywords: COVID-19; MERS; SARS; central nervous system; coronavirus; neuroinvasive.
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