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Coronavirus Infections—More Than Just the Common Cold

Educational ObjectivesTo understand the importance of sustained preparedness to face emerging infectious diseases
1 Credit CME

Human coronaviruses (HCoVs) have long been considered inconsequential pathogens, causing the “common cold” in otherwise healthy people. However, in the 21st century, 2 highly pathogenic HCoVs—severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV)—emerged from animal reservoirs to cause global epidemics with alarming morbidity and mortality. In December 2019, yet another pathogenic HCoV, 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), was recognized in Wuhan, China, and has caused serious illness and death. The ultimate scope and effect of this outbreak is unclear at present as the situation is rapidly evolving.

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Article Information

Corresponding Author: Anthony S. Fauci, MD, Laboratory of Immunoregulation, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, 31 Center Dr, MSC 2520, Bldg 31, Room 7A-03, Bethesda, MD 20892-2520 (afauci@niaid.nih.gov).

Published Online: January 23, 2020. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.0757

Conflict of Interest Disclosures: None reported.

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Sheahan  TP, Sims  AC, Leist  SR,  et al.  Comparative therapeutic efficacy of remdesivir and combination lopinavir, ritonavir, and interferon beta against MERS-CoV.  Nat Commun. 2020;11(1):222. doi:10.1038/s41467-019-13940-6PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
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