COVID-19: the epidemiology and treatment.Br J Hosp Med (Lond). 2020 Oct 02; 81(10):1-9.BJ
After initially emerging in late 2019, coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has spread rapidly to cause a global pandemic. SARS-CoV-2 is a betacoronavirus that is closely related to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus, all of which can cause severe lung injury, respiratory distress and cytokine storm. While mortality rates associated with SARS-CoV-2 are lower than those associated with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus or Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus, it is more contagious and spreads more rapidly than these other viruses. This article summarises the epidemiology and potential options for treating COVID-19 to give a foundation for future studies of the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of this deadly disease.