Lessons learned 1 year after SARS-CoV-2 emergence leading to COVID-19 pandemic.

Emerging Microbes & Infections
Kelvin Kai-Wang ToKwok-Yung Yuen


Without modern medical management and vaccines, the severity of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) might approach the magnitude of 1894-plague (12 million deaths) and 1918-A(H1N1) influenza (50 million deaths) pandemics. The COVID-19 pandemic was heralded by the 2003 SARS epidemic which led to the discovery of human and civet SARS-CoV-1, bat SARS-related-CoVs, Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS)-related bat CoV HKU4 and HKU5, and other novel animal coronaviruses. The suspected animal-to-human jumping of 4 betacoronaviruses including the human coronaviruses OC43(1890), SARS-CoV-1(2003), MERS-CoV(2012), and SARS-CoV-2(2019) indicates their significant pandemic potential. The presence of a large reservoir of coronaviruses in bats and other wild mammals, culture of mixing and selling them in urban markets with suboptimal hygiene, habit of eating exotic mammals in highly populated areas, and the rapid and frequent air travels from these areas are perfect ingredients for brewing rapidly exploding epidemics. The possibility of emergence of a hypothetical SARS-CoV-3 or other novel viruses from animals or laboratories, and therefore needs for...Continue Reading


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