An updated overview on 2019 novel coronavirus


  • Sanjukta Mishra



Coronavirus, COVID-19, pandemic, polymerase chain reaction


Coronavirus (CoV) has been associated with several infectious disease outbreak in humans in the past two decades, including Severe respiratory syndrome coronavirus [SARS-CoV] in 2002-2003 and Middle East respiratory coronavirus [MERS-CoV] in 2012. An unexpected and unexplained respiratory infection commenced at Wuhan city, China, during the end of 2019, which was named as novel coronavirus disease [2019-nCoV or COVID-19] by the World Health Organization (WHO). It is considered to be a zoonotic disease, as it has nearly similar amino acid homology to SARS-CoV. Reports have revealed an unexpected increase in number of cases worldwide (214 countries and territories along with 2 international conveyances), which intimidates the public with human to human escalation through respiratory droplets and contact routes. This pandemic was declared as a public health emergency of international concern. It follows an extremely heterogeneous course from mild Flu like symptoms [fever, cough, sore throat, dyspnoea, fatigue, headache and malaise] to severe acute respiratory distress syndrome. According to epidemiological data, old age and pre-existing medical co-morbidities are considered to be the risk factors for COVIOD-19. Currently, laboratory-based "Real time-reversed transcription Polymerase chain reaction" [rtRT-PCR] remains the molecular test of choice for the etiologic diagnosis. That apart, several hematological, biochemical markers along with various inflammatory cytokines (lymphopenia, serum level of C-reactive protein, D-dimer, ferritin, Interleukin-6, cardiac troponin I) may be used to assess disease severity. As of now, there have been approximately more than 36 million cases worldwide and more than one million succumbed to the illness (2.91% estimated mortality rate).  Based on reports, India has become the second worst coronavirus hit country with a total number of cases reaching 68 lakhs. The dearth of selected medication (anti-CoV) and unusual transmission ability of 2019-nCoV continue to be responsible for this uninterrupted escalation. Woefully, specific vaccines are yet to come up. Treatment options like broad-spectrum antiviral Remdesivir, and oxygen therapy are being evaluated to control this unprecedented health crisis, although none of these drugs are FDA (Food and drug administration) approved. The path of this pandemic is very undetermined and unpredictable. In the present scenario, efficacious prevention needs swift action from the standpoint of public health strategies, which entails strict surveillance, rapid detection, and implementation of a containment plan to curb this outbreak. This review article highlights the updates on novel coronavirus 2019 and the uninterrupted apocalyptic progress concerning the present situation. It also highlights various perspectives of effective therapeutic strategies to restrain this viral outbreak.

Author Biography

Sanjukta Mishra

Professor, Dept. of Biochemistry, Kalinga Institute of Medical Science, KIIT University, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India


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How to Cite

Mishra S. An updated overview on 2019 novel coronavirus. Biomedicine [Internet]. 2021Jan.1 [cited 2021Apr.14];40(4):414-9. Available from: