In December 2019, a novel coronavirus was identified in the city of Wuhan, since then more than 6,267,488 laboratory confirmed cases have been reported as of June 1st, 2020 and on March 11th WHO declared it a global pandemic. The highest numbers of fatalities are so far reported from USA (n=106,195), followed by UK (n=38,489), Italy (n=33,415) and Brazil (n=29,341). Scanning electron microscopy revealed spherical virus with a diameter of 120 nm-160nm. Its genome consists of a positive sense single stranded RNA (ssRNA+) of 26-32 kilo base pairs in length. Recent genome sequencing elucidated remarkable genetic similarity with bat-SLCoVZXC21, bat-SL-CoVZC45 virus strains and the sequenced strains showed 99.9% genetic homology with each other. The S2 protein of this novel virus has 93% similarity with bat-SL-CoVZXC21, bat-SL-CoVZC45 strains. The RNA was detected in the blood and stool samples. The most frequent manifestation of the infection is cough, fever, anosmia, pneumonia characterized by bilateral infiltrates and dyspnea on chest imaging. The Reverse Transcriptase Real Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (RTPCR) can be used effectively for the detection of viral RNA. National Health Commission of China suggested combination of anti-HIV drug lopinavir and ritonavir and a dose of nebulized interferon α for the treatment. A novel nucleotide analogue remdesivir is also being used for the treatment in United States. Enforcing timely preventive measures such as wearing masks, avoiding close contact with infected individuals, respiratory hygiene, avoiding contact with live or dead animals, regular hand washing at (least for 20s) and use of hand sanitizers can significantly reduce risk of transmission.
Ihsan Ali*, Javid Iqbal Dasti*, Sadiq Noor Khan and Abdul Jabbar