MIAMI – 1. The new coronavirus is “the third spillover, in only two decades, of an animal coronavirus to humans resulting in a major epidemic,” according to the Coronavirus Study Group, of the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses.
2. The International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses named the new virus severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus 2, or SARS-CoV-2, after determining it belonged to the same species as the virus that caused the SARS epidemic of 2002-03, Science reported.
3. The World Health Organization is responsible for naming the diseases caused by newly emerging viruses, according to The Lancet. A spokesperson for WHO told Science using the name SARS could create "unnecessary fear,” so the organization was going to refer to the disease as COVID-19 and to the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which scientists are using, as the COVID-19 virus.
4. Children are not as vulnerable as seniors are. Data indicates that children are less affected than adults and that clinical attack rates in the 0-19 age group are low, according to WHO.
5. Seniors are more likely to get sick. Data shows, people aged 80 or older had a fatality rate of nearly 15 percent. People aged 70 to 79 had a fatality rate of about 8 percent. People aged 60 to 69 had a fatality rate of 3.6 percent.
6. Mortality for COVID-19 appears higher than for influenza, especially seasonal influenza, according to WHO.
7. COVID-19 is a disease with some asymptomatic cases. According to WHO, the disease’s pre-symptomatic period, or incubation period, can range from one to 14 days.
8. According to WHO data, 88 percent of COVID-19 patients had a fever, 68 percent had a dry cough, 38 percent had fatigue, 33 percent coughed up phlegm, 19 percent had shortness of breath, 15 percent had joint or muscle pain, 14 percent had a sore throat, 14 percent headache, 11 percent had chills, 5 percent had nausea or vomiting, 5 percent had nasal congestion, 4 percent had diarrhea, less than one percent coughed up blood or blood-stained mucus and less than one percent had watery eyes.
9. Researchers found the SARS-CoV-2 virus evolved to become more aggressive and spread more quickly. A study recently published in the National Science Review showed the SARS-CoV-2 "L" type evolved from the SARS-CoV-2 "S" type, which is less aggressive. There is still controversy in the scientific community. It is the first time in history scientists are able to share data so quickly.
10. Aggressive public health measures continue to be the strongest weapon against the virus.