Will the current coronavirus epidemic in Wuhan, China be crowned the worst one yet? Coronaviruses were historically severely underestimated by attributing them to nothing more than the common cold. This all changed with the highly-lethal zoonotic (animal-to-human transmission) SARS pandemic in the early-2000s, with almost a third of those infected requiring mechanical ventilation. After a similarly-dangerous zoonotic strain appeared in Saudi Arabia in 2012, the coronavirus finally earned its place on the WHO’s most-wanted list. Last month, history repeated itself with the emergence of yet another pathogenic zoonotic coronavirus outbreak in China, but this time it took only until January 10, 2020 for researchers to release its full genomic sequence. While the US and other countries have begun screening travelers arriving from Wuhan, the first travel-related case in the US was documented on January 21. TBL: Novel mRNA vaccines and broad-spectrum antivirals are rapidly being assessed in attempts to prevent 2020 from becoming the next deadly coronavirus pandemic year. | Paules, JAMA 2020


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