Doctor's Notes on Coronavirus (COVID-19 [2019-nCoV], SARS, MERS)
Coronavirus (COVID-19, 2019-nCoV) is a new RNA coronavirus found in late 2019 in the Chinese city of Wuhan. It causes moderate to severe respiratory problems in humans. It is contagious and spreads from person to person. Signs and symptoms vary in intensity. Infected people initially may have flu-like symptoms that can rapidly progress in severity. The primary signs and symptoms of moderate to severe infections are as follows:
- Severe coughing
- Difficulty breathing and/or shortness of breath
- Occasional diarrhea
- Some patients develop pneumonia and/or organ failure (for example, kidney failure and death).
The cause of signs and symptoms of the Wuhan, China, respiratory outbreak is the 2019-nCoV virus or coronavirus (COVID-19). It may cause severe viral pneumonia. Unfortunately, many people who become infected require hospitalization for supportive care. There is no specific drug or vaccine against this virus. Some patients require hospital-based respiratory supportive care. This hospital-based care can rapidly run out if the outbreak is not slowed or stopped. In the Wuhan outbreak, China and many other countries are using quarantine measures to help slow or stop the spread of 2019-nCoV.
Coronavirus COVID-19 Prevention: Test Your Medical IQ QuizQuestion
What is COVID-19 (2019 novel coronavirus)?See Answer
Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.