COVID-19

COVID-19

On 30 December 2019, a report of a cluster of pneumonia of unknown aetiology was published on ProMED-mail, possibly related to contact with a seafood market in Wuhan, China.

Hospitals in the region held an emergency symposium, and support from federal agencies is reportedly helping to determine the source of infection and causative organism. The seafood market has since been closed, but purportedly sold a variety of live animal species. On 5 January 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) published a document outlining their request for more information from Chinese public health authorities, and detailed 44 patients had ‘pneumonia of unknown aetiology’, with 121 close contacts under surveillance (www.who.int/csr/don/05-january-2020-pneumonia-of-unkown-cause-china/en/). The WHO reported that 11 patients were severely ill, and many affected individuals had contact with the Huanan Seafood market. Some patients were reported to have fever, dyspnea and pulmonary infiltrates on chest radiography 1).


It was declared a public health emergency of international concern on Jan 30, 2020, by WHO 2).

By early January, terms like “the new coronavirus” and “Wuhan coronavirus” were in common use. On February 11, 2020, a taxonomic designation “severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2” (SARS-CoV-2) became the official means to refer to the virus strain, that was previously termed as 2019-nCoV and Wuhan coronavirus. Within a few hours on the same day, the WHO officially renamed the disease as COVID-19.

COVID-19 has high homology to other pathogenic coronaviruses, such as those originating from bat-related zoonosis (SARS-CoV), which caused approximately 646 deaths in China at the start of the decade.

Epidemiology

COVID-19 Epidemiology

Etiology

The genome of 2019-nCoV partially resembled SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV, and indicating 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) 3).

Transmission

Probable aircraft transmission of Covid-19 in-flight from the Central African Republic to France 4).


Estimates of case counts in Wuhan based on assumptions of 100% detection in travellers could have been underestimated by several fold. Furthermore, severity estimates will be inflated several fold since they also rely on case count estimates. Finally, our model supports evidence that underdetected cases of COVID-19 have probably spread in most locations around the world, with greatest risk in locations of low detection capacity and high connectivity to the epicentre of the outbreak 5).

COVID-19 virus genome

The complete genome of SARS-CoV-2 from Wuhan, China was submitted on January 17, 2020 in the National Center for Biotechnology 6) (NCBI) database, with ID NC_045512. The genome of SARS-CoV-2 is a 29,903 bp single-stranded RNA (ss-RNA) coronavirus. It has now been shown that the virus causing COVID-19 is a SARS-like coronavirus that had previously been reported in bats in China.

COVID-19 and central nervous system

COVID-19 and central nervous system.

Essential care of critical illness

Essential care of critical illness must not be forgotten in the COVID-19 pandemic 7).

COVID-19 for neurologists

COVID-19 for neurologists

COVID-19 for Neurosurgeons

see COVID-19 for neurosurgeons.

COVID-19 for Vascular surgeons

see COVID-19 for Vascular surgeons.

COVID-19 for Dermatologists

COVID-19 for Dermatologists

COVID-19 for Gastroenterologists

COVID-19 for Gastroenterologists

COVID-19 for Pediatricians

COVID-19 for Pediatricians

COVID-19 for Psychiatrists

COVID-19 for Psychiatrists.

COVID-19 for Oncologists

COVID-19 for Oncologists.

COVID-19 for Otolaryngologists

COVID-19 for Otolaryngologists.

COVID-19 for Cardiologists

COVID-19 for Cardiologists.

COVID-19 for Gynecologists

COVID-19 for Gynecologists.

Diagnosis

COVID-19 Diagnosis.

Treatment

COVID-19 Treatment.

Palliative Care

COVID-19 Palliative Care.

Prevention

COVID-19 Prevention.

Operating room preparation for COVID-19

see Operating room preparation for COVID-19.

Telemedicine in the COVID-19 era

see Telemedicine in the COVID-19 era.

Outcome

The mortality rate for COVID-19 is not as high (approximately 2-3%), but its rapid propagation has resulted in the activation of protocols to stop its spread. This pathogen has the potential to become a pandemic. It is therefore vital to follow the personal care recommendations issued by the World Health Organization 8).

Diabetes is a risk factor for the progression and prognosis of COVID-19

A total of 174 consecutive patients confirmed with COVID-19 were studied. Demographic data, medical history, symptoms and signs, laboratory findings, chest computed tomography (CT) as well we treatment measures were collected and analyzed.

Guo et al. found that COVID-19 patients without other comorbidities but with diabetes (n=24) were at higher risk of severe pneumonia, the release of tissue injury-related enzymes, excessive uncontrolled inflammation responses and hypercoagulable state associated with dysregulation of glucose metabolism. Furthermore, serum levels of inflammation-related biomarkers such as IL-6, C-reactive protein, serum ferritin, and coagulation index, D-dimer, were significantly higher (p< 0.01) in diabetic patients compared with those without, suggesting that patients with diabetes are more susceptible to an inflammatory storm eventually leading to rapid deterioration of COVID-19.

Data support the notion that diabetes should be considered as a risk factor for a rapid progression and bad prognosis of COVID-19. More intensive attention should be paid to patients with diabetes, in case of rapid deterioration 9).


Racism and discrimination in COVID-19 responses 10)

Case reports

2019 novel coronavirus infection in a three-month-old baby 11).


3 cases of SARS-CoV-2 infected children diagnosed from February 3 to February 17, 2020 in Tianjin, China. All of these three cases experienced mild illness and recovered soon after treatment, with the nucleic acid of throat swab turning negative within 14, 11, 7 days after diagnosis respectively. However, after been discharged, all the three cases were tested SARS-CoV-2 positive in the stool samples within 10 days, in spite of their remained negative nucleic acid in throat swab specimens. Therefore, it is necessary to be aware of the possibility of fecal-oral transmission of SARS-CoV-2 infection, especially for children cases 12).


Lv et al. reported the dynamic change process of target genes by RT-PCR testing of SARS-Cov-2 during the course of a COVID-19 patient: from successive negative results to successive single positive nucleocapsid gene, to two positive target genes (orf1ab and nucleocapsid) by RT-PCR testing of SARS-Cov-2, and describe the diagnosis, clinical course, and management of the case. In this case, negative results of RT-PCR testing was not excluded to diagnose a suspected COVID-19 patient, clinical signs and symptoms, other laboratory findings, and chest CT images should be taken into account for the absence of enough positive evidence. This case highlights the importance of successive sampling and testing SARS-Cov-2 by RT-PCR as well as the increased value of single positive target gene from pending to positive in two specimens to diagnose laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 13).

Literature

see COVID-19 Literature

References

1)

Bogoch II, Watts A, Thomas-Bachli A, Huber C, Kraemer MUG, Khan K. Pneumonia of unknown aetiology in Wuhan, China: potential for international spread via commercial air travel. J Travel Med. 2020 Mar 13;27(2). pii: taaa008. doi: 10.1093/jtm/taaa008. PubMed PMID: 31943059; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC7107534.
2)

WHO. Statement on the second meeting of the International Health Regulations (2005) Emergency Committee regarding the outbreak of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). Jan 30, 2020. https://www.who.int/newsroom/detail/30-01-2020-statement-on-thesecond-meeting-of-the-international-healthregulations-(2005)-emergency-committeeregarding-the-outbreak-of-novel-coronavirus- (2019-ncov) (accessed Feb 1, 2020).
3)

Xie M, Chen Q. Insight into 2019 novel coronavirus – an updated intrim review and lessons from SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV. Int J Infect Dis. 2020 Apr 1. pii: S1201-9712(20)30204-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ijid.2020.03.071. [Epub ahead of print] Review. PubMed PMID: 32247050.
4)

Eldin C, Lagier JC, Mailhe M, Gautret P. Probable aircraft transmission of Covid-19 in-flight from the Central African Republic to France. Travel Med Infect Dis. 2020 Apr 1:101643. doi: 10.1016/j.tmaid.2020.101643. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 32247016.
5)

Niehus R, De Salazar PM, Taylor AR, Lipsitch M. Using observational data to quantify bias of traveller-derived COVID-19 prevalence estimates in Wuhan, China. Lancet Infect Dis. 2020 Apr 1. pii: S1473-3099(20)30229-2. doi: 10.1016/S1473-3099(20)30229-2. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 32246905.
6)

Wuhan seafood market pneumonia virus isolate Wuhan-Hu-1, complete genome. Nucleotide, National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), National Library of Medicine (US), National Center for Biotechnology Information, Bethesda, MD, https://www. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/nuccore/1798174254 (accessed on 2020-02-28).
7)

Baker T, Schell CO, Petersen DB, Sawe H, Khalid K, Mndolo S, Rylance J, McAuley DF, Roy N, Marshall J, Wallis L, Molyneux E. Essential care of critical illness must not be forgotten in the COVID-19 pandemic. Lancet. 2020 Apr 1. pii: S0140-6736(20)30793-5. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(20)30793-5. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 32246914.
8)

Palacios Cruz M, Santos E, Velázquez Cervantes MA, León Juárez M. COVID-19, a worldwide public health emergency. Rev Clin Esp. 2020 Mar 20. pii: S0014-2565(20)30092-8. doi: 10.1016/j.rce.2020.03.001. [Epub ahead of print] Review. English, Spanish. PubMed PMID: 32204922.
9)

Guo W, Li M, Dong Y, Zhou H, Zhang Z, Tian C, Qin R, Wang H, Shen Y, Du K, Zhao L, Fan H, Luo S, Hu D. Diabetes is a risk factor for the progression and prognosis of COVID-19. Diabetes Metab Res Rev. 2020 Mar 31:e3319. doi: 10.1002/dmrr.3319. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 32233013.
10)

Devakumar D, Shannon G, Bhopal SS, Abubakar I. Racism and discrimination in COVID-19 responses. Lancet. 2020 Apr 1. pii: S0140-6736(20)30792-3. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(20)30792-3. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 32246915.
11)

Zhang YH, Lin DJ, Xiao MF, Wang JC, Wei Y, Lei ZX, Zeng ZQ, Li L, Li HA, Xiang W. [2019 novel coronavirus infection in a three-month-old baby]. Zhonghua Er Ke Za Zhi. 2020 Mar 2;58(3):182-184. doi: 10.3760/cma.j.issn.0578-1310.2020.03.004. Chinese. PubMed PMID: 32135587.
12)

Zhang T, Cui X, Zhao X, Wang J, Zheng J, Zheng G, Guo W, Cai C, He S, Xu Y. Detectable SARS-CoV-2 Viral RNA in Feces of Three Children during Recovery Period of COVID-19 Pneumonia. J Med Virol. 2020 Mar 29. doi: 10.1002/jmv.25795. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 32222992.
13)

Lv DF, Ying QM, Weng YS, Shen CB, Chu JG, Kong JP, Sun DH, Gao X, Weng XB, Chen XQ. Dynamic change process of target genes by RT-PCR testing of SARS-Cov-2 during the course of a Coronavirus Disease 2019 patient. Clin Chim Acta. 2020 Mar 27. pii: S0009-8981(20)30134-0. doi: 10.1016/j.cca.2020.03.032. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 32229107.

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