The year 2020 has started with a rapid, global epidemic of the virus SARS-CoV-2, causing the disease named COVID-19. The virus appears to have transmitted to humans in a zoonotic event from bats. There are many questions to be investigated regarding all aspects of SARS-CoV-2 virology and epidemiology. These questions range from how the virus emerged to how it spreads and how the disease manifests itself. But most urgently, as the global outbreak continues to grow, whether we can we develop an effective vaccine and therapeutic strategies to treat not only this epidemic but any future coronavirus spillover events.
The aim of the article was to give an overview of and to describe what is known about the new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), how we measure the severity of the disease and what the key elements of the response are.