Ann Transl Med. 2020 Dec;8(24):1686. doi: 10.21037/atm-20-5272.
The novel SARS-CoV-2 is responsible for causing the ongoing outbreak of coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19), a systemic infection in humans. Ever since it was first detected in December 2019, the number of confirmed cases has continued to increase. Within a short period, this disease has become a global issue, and therefore it is characterized as a pandemic. The current understanding and explanations are based on epidemiological, clinical and physiological observations. Besides, it remains a great challenge, as much remains to be understood about this new disease-causing virus. Therefore, we seek to provide an overview of SARS-CoV-2, including its classification, origin, genomic structure, replication cycle, transmission, pathogenesis, clinical aspects, diagnosis, treatments, prevention and vaccine options. We conducted a literature search for the articles published up to August 2020 using the keywords 'SAR-CoV-2' and 'COVID19' in medical databases; PubMed, google scholar, EMBASE, and web of science. Based on the information collected, the emerging COVID-19, caused by SARS-CoV-2, exhibits strong infectivity but less virulence in terms of severity of disease and mortality rates in certain age groups. It inflicts more damage in terms of peoples' health and well-being, social life, and global economic impacts. Unfortunately, there is no adequate global and standard response to this pandemic to date, and each country is facing a crisis based on its situation, expertise, and hypotheses. While there is no effective therapy and vaccine against the novel SARS-CoV-2 yet, preventive measures are the only tool available to our disposal to control the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Ongoing and future research is focused more on developing standard treatment strategies, and efficacious vaccines, which would be useful to tackle this pandemic globally.