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 etiology’, 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 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.
The infection spread quickly and was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) on March 11, 2019 4).
By March 30, more than 782 365 confirmed cases were reported and a third of the world population were living in confinement to try to contain the virus 5).
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.
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) 6).
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 7) (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
Essential care of critical illness
Essential care of critical illness must not be forgotten in the COVID-19 pandemic 8).
COVID-19 for neurologists
COVID-19 for Neurosurgeons
COVID-19 in Spinal Disorders
COVID-19 for Vascular surgeons
COVID-19 for Dermatologists
COVID-19 for Gastroenterologists
COVID-19 for Pediatricians
COVID-19 for Psychiatrists
COVID-19 for Oncologists
COVID-19 for Otolaryngologists
COVID-19 for Cardiologists
COVID-19 for Gynecologists
Operating room preparation for COVID-19
Telemedicine in the COVID-19 era
2019 novel coronavirus infection in a three-month-old baby 9).
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 10).
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 11).