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COVID-19 pandemic

Image obtained by scanning electron microscope, SARS-CoV-2 virions (orange) emerge from a cell (green).
Source: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, USA.

The COVID-19 pandemic is the coronavirus disease pandemic, that outbreak in Wuhan, capital of the province of Hubei in central China, where it was first identified, in . SARS-CoV-2 virus is responsible for the disease.

The name was chosen by the WHO after genomic sequencing revealed a strong similarity, around 70%, with the SARS-CoV virus, responsible for the first coronavirus pandemic in . Also WHO, after defining the Wuhan episode as a public health emergency of international concern on , declared pandemic on . Since the early Wuhan cases, more than thirteen million people have contracted the disease in over 180 countries, causing over half a million deaths worldwide.

The dispersion of saliva droplets during a sneeze.
Source: CDC Public Health Image library ID 11162, USA.

Disease transmission occurs between people while they are in close contact, very often through the inhalation of saliva droplets, produced when speaking, coughing or sneezing. These droplets end up depositing on the ground or on surfaces, where the virus can resist for many hours, and which can transmit the disease by touching them with your hands and then with these touch your face or eyes.

More recent studies, as Identifying airborne transmission as the dominant route for the spread of COVID-19, published last , have shown how, in addition to droplets, the virus can also be transmitted through the air by aerosol, especially in closed environments, where the particles can remain in suspension for several hours.

The main symptoms are: fever, cough, weakness, shortness of air and loss of smell. Pneumonia, thrombosis, kidney and liver, nervous system and heart damage can occur as major complications. It has been verified that some of these problems can become permanent, that is, they persist in technically healed patients, such as loss of smell, shortness of breath, sense of weakness and various neurological problems, both to the brain and the nervous system.

How to keep informed

Johns Hopkins University



Founded in and first research university in the United States, it was among the first institutions to take action to allow monitoring at a glance, the prestigious Johns Hopkins University has produced this site where you can find all information on the progress of the pandemic. The data concern the whole world with particular attention to the situation of the United States of America.

Johns Hopkins University

ECDC



Founded in , after the SARS epidemic of , the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control is the official body of the European Union responsible for monitoring and studying about: antimicrobial resistance and healthcare associated infections, emerging and vector-borne diseases, food and zoonotic diseases, sexually transmitted infections, including HIV and blood transmitted viruses, flu, tuberculosis and diseases preventable by vaccination.

ECDC

WHO



Founded in , WHO is the United Nations agency responsible for public health. In recent years it has played a leading role in world public health by promoting the eradication of smallpox, the almost eradication of polio and the development of an Ebola vaccine. Its current priorities include communicable diseases, in particular HIV/AIDS, ebola, malaria and tuberculosis, but also non-communicable diseases, such as heart disease and cancer; dietary problems, nutrition and food safety; occupational health and substance abuse.

WHO

FasterCures



Founded by the Milken Institute, FasterCures is a center that deals with the tracking of treatments and vaccines for COVID-19 disease, here you can find every type of medicine and vaccine under development and all the information related to it.

FasterCures

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