Anesth Pain Med. 2020 Apr 25;10(2):e103819. doi: 10.5812/aapm.103819. eCollection 2020 Apr.
The emergence of a novel coronavirus and coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) represents a challenge to global healthcare. In the past 20 years, this is the third coronavirus that jumped the species barrier and infected humans. It is highly contagious but associated with low pathogenicity. First identified in Wuhan, China, a city of over 11 million, the disease has since spread to every continent except Antarctica. About 15% to 20% of all cases may be called severe, and it is believed many cases are asymptomatic. The average age of a person with COVID has been reported as 49 years. Worse outcomes are associated with geriatric populations and those with underlying diseases such as cardiovascular, respiratory disorders, and/or diabetes. The coronavirus, like other coronaviruses, is highly contagious and has a latency period of about 14 days. Most patients present with fever and a dry cough, but fever may be absent. Differential diagnosis can be challenging since influenza may present with similar symptoms. Chest radiography or computed tomography may be used to find evidence of secondary pneumonia. Nosocomial infection is of concern, and it has been reported that 3.8% of all cases with COVID-19 in that country involve healthcare workers in China. Most patients have mild disease, and supportive care suffices. A variety of repurposed and investigational drugs are being evaluated. There are currently no antiviral therapies or vaccines, even if many therapies are proposed. Hand hygiene, social distancing, and scientifically sound information are the best strategies at the moment to combat this epidemic.