CORONAVIRUSES: THE VIRUSES THAT HAVE MOVED FROM THE SHADOW TO THE SPOTLIGHT OF PUBLIC ATTENTION

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December – January, 2020/21, vol. 10, no. 3
pages: 517-523
Article type: Microbiology of Microbiology
DOI: 10.15414/jmbfs.2020.10.3.517-523
Abstract: Over the millennia, infectious diseases have been mass killers on a scale we cannot begin to imagine today. Coronaviruses are different from other viral epidemics of the past decades. As Erin Mackie states in her fairy tale „From rags to riches, from a little pauper in blood-stained clogs to a princess in red Moroccan slippers; “it is appropriate to use this similitude to the coronaviruses. They are common in several species of domestic and wild animals, and in humans are usually considered to be the cause of common cold. However, the epidemics of two beta coronaviruses, SARS-CoV (2002-2003) and MERS-CoV (2012) have infected more than 10 000 people with mortality rates of 9.6% for SARS-CoV and 34.4% for MERS-CoV. Mentioned epidemics were moving the position of coronaviruses from the shadow to the spotlight and reaffirmed the importance of understanding how coronaviruses emerge, infect, and cause disease or death. Almost 8 years after the highly fatal MERS-CoV were appeared a series of pneumonia cases of unknown origin emerged in Wuhan, China with clinical presentations resampling to viral pneumonia. Based on the sequencing analysis of samples collected from respiratory tract of infected people, a novel coronavirus, designed as SARS-CoV-2, was detected. However, it is more widespread than SARS-CoV, more infectious than seasonal influenza and has killed more people than Ebola. With a total of 60.834.776 infected people with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 (until now) is a rank among the highest pathogenic human coronavirus that has emerged in the last two decades.
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