J Int Med Res. 2020 Aug;48(8):300060520949077. doi: 10.1177/0300060520949077.
The emergence of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in December 2019 has resulted in over 20 million cases and 741,808 deaths globally, affecting more than 200 countries. COVID-19 was declared a pandemic on 11 March 2020 by the World Health Organization. The disease is caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2). There is limited information on COVID-19, and treatment has so far focused on supportive care and use of repurposed drugs. COVID-19 can be transmitted via person-to-person contact through droplet spread. Some of the recommended precautionary measures to reduce the rate of disease spread include social distancing, good hygiene practices, and avoidance of crowded areas. These measures are effective because the droplets are heavy and can only travel approximately 1 meter in the air, settling quickly on fixed surfaces. Promising strategies to combat SARS-CoV-2 include discovery of therapeutic targets/drugs and vaccines. In this review, we summarize the epidemiology, pathophysiology, and diagnosis of COVID-19. We also address the mechanisms of action of approved repurposed drugs for therapeutic management of the disease.