Coronaviruses: The Most Dangerous Pathogen of Present Era
Coronaviruses are the major group of viruses belonging to the Order Nidovirales. Four families- Coronoviridae, Arteriviridae, Mesoniviridae, and Roviviridae are included in this Order. All CoVs are pleomorphic RNA viruses characterized by club-like spikes that project from their surface. These viruses have unusually large RNA genome, with a unique replication strategy. CoVs were not considered as highly pathogenic for humans until the emergence of SARS-CoV in 2002-03 in China. The emergence of another highly pathogenic CoV, Middle East Respiratory syndrome (MERS-CoV) in the Middle East Countries confirmed the occurrence of highly pathogenic human viruses among the Coronaviruses. In this article we provide a brief introduction to coronaviruses, mode of action, pathogenesis, current situation, prevention and control of COVID-19.
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