Dentistry and Medical Research

: 2020  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1--3

Coronavirus disease-2019: A brief overview

Syed Nahid Basheer1, Syed Wali Peeran2,  
1 Department of Restorative Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, Jazan University, Jizan, KSA
2 Dental Department, AFH, Jizan, KSA

Correspondence Address:
Syed Nahid Basheer
Faculty of Dentistry, Jazan University, Jizan

How to cite this article:
Basheer SN, Peeran SW. Coronavirus disease-2019: A brief overview.Dent Med Res 2020;8:1-3

How to cite this URL:
Basheer SN, Peeran SW. Coronavirus disease-2019: A brief overview. Dent Med Res [serial online] 2020 [cited 2020 Sep 23 ];8:1-3
Available from:

Full Text


Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is caused by a newly identified single-stranded enveloped nonsegmented positive-sense β-coronavirus (CoV) RNA virus. This new virus has been called severe acute respiratory syndrome CoV 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The first human case was reported in Wuhan, Hubei province of China, in December 2019. Initially, it was referred to as “Wuhan pneumonia” of unknown cause, and the cases were linked to Wuhan city's South China Seafood Market.[1],[2],[3],[4],[5],[6]

Moreover, around the same time, the World Health Organization (WHO) was informed about the new outbreak. By mid-January, the virus was first isolated using human airway epithelial cells and sequenced. Furthermore, around the same time, 17 million people were quarantined; by the end of the month, 1 billion people were quarantined.[7] Around January 31, 2020, COVID-19 was declared a public health emergency in the United States. On March 11, 2020, the WHO classified the outbreak as a pandemic.[2],[8]

The WHO estimates the mortality rate of COVID 19 to be 3.4%, a mortality rate far higher than seasonal flu.[9],[10] However, these estimates are evolving as this mortality rate depicts those who report with the disease. A majority of those affected may experience a mild illness course, recover at home without medical care, and may go unnoticed.[2],[11],[12] The patients who are with comorbidities including hypertension, diabetes, moderate to severe asthma, cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer have a higher rate of mortality.[13],[11] The overall death rate from COVID-19 rises sharply in the elderly >65 years, while it declines in children aged ≤9 years.[13],[14],[15] The higher mortality rate in patients with underlying diseases and the older adults may be attributed to an increased susceptibility to infection and a predilection to serious outcomes, which may be associated with acute respiratory distress syndrome and cytokine storm.[2],[9] However, it should be known that COVID-19 also affects the young, and severe cases are also encountered among young adults.[16],[17],[18] Recently Center for disease control and prevention. (CDC) noted that nearly 40% of those hospitalized with CoV in the US are younger than 55 years and 20% are between 20 and 44 years.[18],[19],[20] A trend also appears that the death rate among men is higher than among women.[21] As new data set in and as our understanding of the disease improves, we will get to implement different methods and tools to prevent, test, and treat the COVID-19 patients.

The SARS-CoV-2 is assumed to have a maximum incubation period of up to 2 weeks, whereas the average time for the deterioration of symptoms from their onset to the intensive care unit admission is around 10 days.[22] The most common clinical manifestations of COVID-19 patients include fever, cough, chest tightness, dyspnea, fatigue, and a small population of patients who appeared with gastrointestinal infection symptoms.[23],[24] Chest radiographs and computed tomography findings showed focal unilateral to diffuse ground-glass opacities within 1–3 weeks, similar to infection with SARS-CoV.[24],[25],[26],[27]

The SARS-CoV-2 has been identified to originate from mammals, particularly from bats similar to all other alpha- and beta-coronaviruses. The SARS-CoV-2 spreads mainly from the respiratory tract with a body of evidence pointing toward sustained human-to-human transmission through respiratory droplets and contact routes.[2],[28],[29] A number of laboratory studies estimate the survival of the virus in the air for 3 to 5 days, while it can remain viable up to 24 h on cardboard and 72 h on plastic and stainless steel.[30],[31]

The suggested drugs for the treatment of COVID-19 can be categorized into antivirals, anti-inflammatory drugs, immunosuppressive therapies, antimalarial drugs, traditional Chinese drugs, and other supportive treatment measures. Chloroquine and some antivirals such as remdesivir have shown promising results in vitro.[32],[33],[34],[35] However, as these drugs are under trails and no antiviral drug has proven to be efficient in the treatment of the disease till date, the suggested treatment remains nonspecific, which includes providing adequate oxygen, nutritional support, and maintaining fluids and electrolyte balances.[15],[36] In addition, no approved vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 exist. However, several trials of vaccines for protection against COVID-19 are underway.[37] Hence, with over 2,203,927 confirmed cases of SARS-CoV-2 and 148,749 deaths, maintaining physical distancing, staying home, and regular washing of hands, especially after visiting public places, is strictly recommended.[11],[38],[39],[40] Medical professionals are advised to avoid elective procedures and use personal protective equipment with Valved Fold-Flat and molded protection masks which are over 95% effective in anticipated COVID-19 cases.[41] It is appropriate to move to telemedicine in these difficult times and to keep ourselves safe and be serving our patients in the comfort of their homes.[42],[43]

Further, with a lot of misinformation existing on social media and on different spurious websites, we as health-care providers must be careful.[44],[45] Hence, we request our readers, in particular health-care workers, in general, to keep themselves updated and receive information from trusted national and international governmental sources. Some of the useful sites to get the latest information are the following:






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