A large number of patient developed pneumonia of unknown cause in the capital city Wuhan of Hubei province in China during the month of Dec 2019, with clinical presentations greatly resembling viral pneumonia while some rapidly progressed to severe illness and fatal outcome. International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV) named the virus severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and WHO officially named the disease COVID-19. World Health Organization (WHO) on January 30 declared the outbreak as a public health emergency of international concern due to rapid global spread. On 11 February 2020, WHO announced that COVID-19 (meaning coronavirus disease-2019) will be the official name of the disease. This report reviews the genetic structure, infection source, transmission route, pathogenesis, clinical characteristics, and treatment and prevention of the SARS-CoV-2, so that it can provide references for follow-up research, prevention and treatment, and may help readers to have the latest understanding of this new infectious disease. Information have been gathered mainly from relevant researches and papers that were published recently. For this narrative review, more than 49 relevant scientific articles and reports were considered from various databases (e.g., Google Scholar, PubMed and Science Direct) using keywords such as SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; corona virus; pneumonia; respiratory infection. The results from this review show that the situation is rapidly evolving, as human-to-human transmission is occurring, and the number of new cases and mortalities is increasing by the day and on a global level. There is still ambiguity about mutation risks and how the virus spreads as the source was not yet identified. Major gaps in knowledge about the origin of the virus, epidemiology and transmission impose a great challenge, which emphasizes the need for further studies in the future. There are neither vaccines nor effective treatments for the disease caused by the virus, but efforts are typically confined to symptomatic and supportive management. Antiviral and corticosteroids were used in severe illness but had no effective outcome.
Keywords: SARS-CoV-2, COVID-19, Corona Virus, Pneumonia, Respiratory Infection