Bulletin: March 2020 Situation Report – Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
This SITREP is a Public Service Announcement sponsored by The Conceptium Group.
The outbreak of COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving public health crisis that may be termed a global pandemic. SPEAR will provide new information as it becomes available, in addition to updated guidance.
Facts you should know
Background: Common human coronaviruses usually cause mild to moderate upper-respiratory tract illnesses, like the common cold. Most people get infected with one or more of these viruses at some point in their lives. This information applies to common human coronaviruses and should not be confused with COVID-19.
Health authorities worldwide are responding to an outbreak of respiratory disease caused by a novel coronavirus that was first detected in Wuhan Province, China, and which has now been detected in almost 70 locations internationally. The virus has been named “SARS-CoV-2”, and the disease it causes has been named “Coronavirus Disease 2019” (abbreviated “COVID-19”). On January 30th, 2020, the Emergency Committee of the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak a “Public Health Emergency of International Concern” (PHEIC), which is “an extraordinary event which is determined to constitute a public health risk to other States through the international spread of disease and to potentially require a coordinated international response”.
Epidemiology – Source and Initial Spread of the Virus
Coronaviruses cause zoonotic disease, transmitting from animals to humans. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in people and many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats. Animal coronaviruses can infect people and then spread between people such as with MERS-CoV (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome – Coronavirus), SARS-CoV (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome – Coronavirus) – and now SARS-CoV-2. The SARS-CoV-2 virus is a betacoronavirus, like MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV. All three of these viruses have their origins in bats.