Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19): a brief overview of features and current treatment

Link to article at PubMed

Adv Respir Med. 2021;89(2):158-172. doi: 10.5603/ARM.a2021.0041.


Since the report of the first cases of pneumonia caused by SARS-CoV-2 in December 2019, COVID-19 has become a pandemic and is globally overwhelming healthcare systems. The symptoms of COVID-19 vary from asymptomatic infection to severe complicated pneumonia with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and multiple organ failure leading to death. The estimated case-fatality rate among infected patients in Wuhan, the city where the first case appeared, was 1.4%, with 5.1 times increase in the death rate among those aged above 59 years than those aged 30-59 years. In the absence of a proven effective and licensed treatment, many agents that showed activity against previous coronavirus outbreaks such as SARS and MERS have been used to treat SARS-CoV-2 infection. The SARS-CoV-2 is reported to be 80% homologous with SARS-CoV, and some enzymes are almost 90% homologous. Antiviral drugs are urgently required to reduce case fatality-rate and hospitalizations to relieve the burden on healthcare systems worldwide. Randomized controlled trials are ongoing to assess the efficacy and safety of several treatment regimens.

PMID:33966263 | DOI:10.5603/ARM.a2021.0041

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