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SARS-CoV-2 better known as COVID-19, emerged as a global pandemic in late 2019 and continues to have a profound impact on public health, economies, and daily life worldwide. SARS-CoV-2 is a positive-sense single-stranded RNA virus belonging to the Coronaviridae family. It is characterized by its spike proteins, which bind to the ACE2 receptor on human cells, facilitating viral entry. The virus primarily spreads through respiratory droplets from infected individuals.
COVID-19 presents a wide spectrum of clinical manifestations, from asymptomatic or mild respiratory symptoms to severe pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), and multi-organ failure. Common symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath, with a subset of patients experiencing anosmia and ageusia.
Laboratory diagnosis relies on RT-PCR assays, which detect viral RNA in respiratory samples. Serological tests identify antibodies against SARS-CoV-2. Radiological imaging, such as chest X-rays and CT scans, aids in assessing lung involvement.
Management of COVID-19 varies based on the severity of symptoms. Supportive care includes oxygen therapy and mechanical ventilation for severe cases. Antiviral medications like remdesivir, corticosteroids, and monoclonal antibodies have been used in treatment regimens. Vaccination campaigns have played a critical role in reducing disease severity and transmission.