Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Covid-19, SARS, and MERS

WORLD Health Organization (WHO) announced Covid-19 as the official name for the disease caused by new coronavirus on February 2020. The new virus was first reported from Wuhan, China, on December 31, 2019.

Actually, coronavirus was already familiar to us since it was the virus that caused Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) which also originated in China in 2002-2003 and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in the Middle East. Covid-19 is caused by the new strain of coronavirus, so that's why it is called new or novel coronavirus.
SARS killed 774 people between November 2002 and July 2003. Covid-19, has killed more than 3,000 people and infected more than 75,000 others in the firt one month.
At a briefing on 17 February WHO’s director general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said that more than 80% of patients with Covid-19 have a “mild disease and will recover" and that it is fatal in 2% of reported cases. In comparison, the 2003 outbreak of SARS had a case fatality rate of around 10% (8,098 cases and 774 deaths), while MERS killed 34% of people with the illness between 2012 and 2019 (2,494 cases and 858 deaths). (*)