The COVID-19 Pandemic: A Comprehensive Review of Taxonomy, Genetics, Epidemiology, Diagnosis, Treatment, and Control

J Clin Med. 2020 Apr 24;9(4):1225. doi: 10.3390/jcm9041225.


A pneumonia outbreak with unknown etiology was reported in Wuhan, Hubei province, China, in December 2019, associated with the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market. The causative agent of the outbreak was identified by the WHO as the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), producing the disease named coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19). The virus is closely related (96.3%) to bat coronavirus RaTG13, based on phylogenetic analysis. Human-to-human transmission has been confirmed even from asymptomatic carriers. The virus has spread to at least 200 countries, and more than 1,700,000 confirmed cases and 111,600 deaths have been recorded, with massive global increases in the number of cases daily. Therefore, the WHO has declared COVID-19 a pandemic. The disease is characterized by fever, dry cough, and chest pain with pneumonia in severe cases. In the beginning, the world public health authorities tried to eradicate the disease in China through quarantine but are now transitioning to prevention strategies worldwide to delay its spread. To date, there are no available vaccines or specific therapeutic drugs to treat the virus. There are many knowledge gaps about the newly emerged SARS-CoV-2, leading to misinformation. Therefore, in this review, we provide recent information about the COVID-19 pandemic. This review also provides insights for the control of pathogenic infections in humans such as SARS-CoV-2 infection and future spillovers.

Keywords: COVID-19; One Health; SARS-CoV-2; control; diagnosis; epidemiology; genetics; outbreak; pneumonia; public health; treatment.

Publication types

  • Review