Pandemic and epidemic Coronavirus and flu viruses

MERS-CoV, SARS-CoV, SARS-CoV-2 and Spanish flu

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Last edited and updated on: by Sagar Aryal

Viruses with a high mutation rate “that is a reason there are no permanent vaccination against it”.

According to Jean and Peter Medawar 1977 virus “simply a piece of bad news wrapped up in protein” (from Bad News Wrapped in Protein: Inside Coronavirus Genome by Jonathan Corum and Carl Zimmer). In December 2019 there is very bad news in the form of Coronavirus come in our knowledge. Which spreads all over the world and become pandemic. Before this several other viral pandemic & epidemic had been coming, and several bacterial pandemics also had been come, but here we discuss the viral disease and viral pandemic such as Spanish flu, MERS, SARS CoV.

Pandemic and epidemic Coronavirus and flu viruses

Figure: (A) Genome structures of SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV. (B) Transmission routes. Image Source: DOI: 10.1128/JVI.03488-13 (ASM).

MERS-CoV

It is firstly reported in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, during summer of 2012, it supposed to be originated in camel and then transferred to a human, previously it is called as human coronavirus Erasmus Medical Center (EMC) symptom resembles with the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), some patient develop mild symptoms. MERS CoV infects the lower respiratory tract, has a large RNA genome of approximately 26-33kb (Nour Raamdan and Houssam Shaib). It was global alarm because it is the causative agent of a severe and frequently fatal acute respiratory illness (SARI) resembling the illness caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS CoV) with 43% of case fatality rate (CFR) in infected patients  (Semi Al Hajjar, Ziad et al www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov).

SARS-CoV

In 2002-2003, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) became a world-wide outbreak affecting more than 8000 patients from over 30 countries, with mortality of 9.2% (Pulmonary pathological feature in coronavirus associated severe acute respiratory syndrome by G M-K Tse et al). Originated in China in Guangdong Province in November 2002, spread all over the world and become 1st human Pandemic of the 21st century, with 10% fatality (Jiang Gu and Christine Korteweg 2007)

Spanish flu

Spanish flue “Spanish influenza pandemic” causes about 50 million deaths worldwide. It was believed to be caused by H5N1 or other viruses, the basic answer for Spanish flue and why it is so fatal is not clear because no virus from 1918 had been isolated. It is caused by the three-week pandemic wave, it is also mysterious that all three wave was due to the same virus (Jeffery K. Taubenberger and David M. Morens).

Relation of SARS-CoV-2 Genome with MERS-CoV, SARS-CoV and other epidemic & pandemic viruses

Spanish influenza was the mother pandemic of all pandemics (Jeffery K. Taubenberger and David M. Morens). But all information about this virus is not clear, its implication in other overcoming and future pandemic requires deep analysis. It is believed that SARS-CoV-2 has a genome resembling with the genome of SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV, it may be due to it is a recombinant genome of SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV, and other flue’s viruses. Disease symptoms also resemble with symptom of SARS and MERS, but it is more virulence than previous other strains of coronaviruses (229E, HCoV-NL63, HCoV-OC43, SARS CoV, MERS CoV). They are highly mutating and no particular vaccine can be prepared against viruses, and they attack with high virulence than previous strain.

References

  1. Bad News Wrapped in Protein: Inside the Coronavirus Genome (by Jonathan Corum and Carl Zimmer)
  2. Semi Al Hajjar, Ziad et al www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
  3. Jeffery K. Taubenberger and David M. Morens www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
  4. Jiang Gu and Christine Korteweg 2007 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

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