PeerJ. 2020 Aug 19;8:e9725. doi: 10.7717/peerj.9725. eCollection 2020.
In mid-December 2019, a novel atypical pneumonia broke out in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China and was caused by a newly identified coronavirus, initially termed 2019 Novel Coronavirus and subsequently severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). As of 19 May 2020, a total of 4,731,458 individuals were reported as infected with SARS-CoV-2 among 213 countries, areas or territories with recorded cases, and the overall case-fatality rate was 6.6% (316,169 deaths among 4,731,458 recorded cases), according to the World Health Organization. Studies have shown that SARS-CoV-2 is notably similar to (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus) SARS-CoV that emerged in 2002-2003 and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) that spread during 2012, and these viruses all contributed to global pandemics. The ability of SARS-CoV-2 to rapidly spread a pneumonia-like disease from Hubei Province, China, throughout the world has provoked widespread concern. The main symptoms of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) include fever, cough, myalgia, fatigue and lower respiratory signs. At present, nucleic acid tests are widely recommended as the optimal method for detecting SARS-CoV-2. However, obstacles remain, including the global shortage of testing kits and the presentation of false negatives. Experts suggest that almost everyone in China is susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection, and to date, there are no effective treatments. In light of the references published, this review demonstrates the biological features, spread, diagnosis and treatment of SARS-CoV-2 as a whole and aims to analyse the similarities and differences among SARS-CoV-2, SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV to provide new ideas and suggestions for prevention, diagnosis and clinical treatment.