Copyright ©The Author(s) 2020.
World J Clin Infect Dis. May 15, 2020; 10(1): 1-13
Published online May 15, 2020. doi: 10.5495/wjcid.v10.i1.1
Table 1 Comparison of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus, Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus2
Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS-CoV)Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS-CoV)Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS-CoV2)
Classification[5]Beta coronavirusBeta coronavirusBeta coronavirus
Country of onset[4,5,7]First reported in November 2002 in the Guangdong province, ChinaFirst reported in April 2012 in Saudi ArabiaFirst reported in December 2019 in Wuhan, China
Origin[2,4]From bats, which infected civets and then humansFrom dromedary camels to humansBelieved to have spread from contact with bats
Global spread[5,8]29 countries worldwide27 countries worldwide185 countries and territories worldwide as of April 12, 2020 (ongoing)
Timeline[4,5,7]Last case in 2004Last case in 2019Ongoing (as of May 7, 2020)
Cases and fatalities[5,8]It infected 8098 persons and resulted in 774 deathsIt infected 2494 persons and resulted in 858 deathsAbout than 3,836,215 cases and 268,999 deaths as of May 7, 2020
In addition, it is possible that these viruses might be spread more broadly through the air (airborne spread) especially during an aerosol generating medical procedures.
Incubation period[5]Typically, 2-7 d or up to 10-14 d in some cases2-14 d1-14 d
Symptoms[3]Fever, non-productive cough, sore throat, headache, myalgia, malaise, shortness of breath, chest pain, vomiting, and pneumoniaFever, severe acute respiratory illness, cough, and shortness of breath, and pneumoniaFever, cough, headache, body weakness and myalgia (fatigue), shortness of breath, and breathing difficulties. In severe cases, individuals may show symptoms of pneumonia
CFR[4,5,8]9.6%34.4%2.2% (initial reports)
Treatment[4]There are no antiviral drugs effective against coronaviruses. Supportive treatment using corticosteroids (methylprednisolone) to reduce lung injury induced by inflammation has been used to reduced acute respiratory distress
Vaccines[4]There is no approved and marketed vaccine against SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV, or SARS-CoV-2
Table 2 Comparison of coronavirus disease 2019 and the flu
Incubation period2-14 d1-4 d
Symptoms[3]The most common symptoms are cough, sore throat, headache, body weakness and myalgia (fatigue) due to severe respiratory illnesses associated with shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In severe cases, individuals may show symptoms of pneumoniaTypical flu symptom is characterized by a sudden onset of fever, cough (usually dry), headache, muscle and joint pain, severe malaise (feeling unwell), sore throat and a runny nose
Case fatality rate[8,20]Initial reports from China suggest the case fatality rate is at least 2.2% (unresolved), and United States 3.9% as of April 12, 2020The case fatality rate for the flu in the United States is < 0.1%
Virus transmission[17,21]The basic reproduction number, R0 is about 3.2The production number of the flu is about 1.28
CharacteristicPandemicEndemic, potential for epidemic or pandemic
Prevention[19,22]There is no approved vaccine for COVID-19There is an annual flu vaccine