Novel Coronavirus


Dr. T. Naga Ravi Kiran, A. V. S. Madhu Latha, Dr. J. N. Sureshkumar, E. Sagar Reddy

Department of Pharmacy, Narasaraopeta Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Narasaraopeta. A.P, India.

*Corresponding Author E-mail:



Novel coronavirus (nCoV) is one of the most common causes of respiratory tract infection throughout the world. Coronaviruses, a genus of the Corona viridae, are enveloped single positive-stranded RNA viruses, which have the largest viral genome (26-33kb) among the RNA viruses. nCoronaviruses cause a variety of diseases in mammals and birds ranging from enteritis in cows and pigs and upper respiratory disease chickens to potentially lethal human respiratory infections. Here we provide a brief introduction to coronaviruses discussing their replication and pathogenicity, and current prevention and treatment strategiesWe will also discuss the outbreaks of the highly pathogenic Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and the recently identified Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) Were Also quoted.


KEYWORDS: nCoronavirus, positive-stranded RNA viruses, SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV




Novel Coronaviruses are a group of viruses that cause diseases in mammals and birds that include diarrhea in cows and pigs, and upper respiratory disease in chickens. In humans, the virus causes respiratory infections, which are often mild, but in rare cases are potentially lethal.



Where did it come from? Novel Coronaviruses originate in animals-like camels, civets and bats-and are usually not transmissible to humans. But occasionally anovel coronavirus mutates and can pass from animals to humans and then from human to human, as was the case with the SARS epidemic in the early 2000s.



To investigate the epidemiological and genetic variation of HCoV in Guangzhou, south China, a total of 13048 throat and nasal swab specimens from adults and children with fever and acute upper respiratory infection symptoms in Gunazhou, south China between July 2010 and June 2019 were collected, and the epidemiological features of HCoV and its species were studied. Specimens were screened for HCoV by real-time RT-PCR, and 7 other common respiratory viruses were tested simultaneously by PCR or real-time PCR. HCoV was detected in 294 cases (2.25%) of the 13048 samples, with most of them inpatients (251 cases, 85.4% of HCoV positive cases) and young children not in nursery (53.06%, 156 out of 294 HCoV positive cases). Four HCoVs, as OC43, 229E, NL63 and HKU1 were detected prevalent during 2010–2015 in Guangzhou, and among the HCoV positive cases, 60.20% were OC43, 16.67% were 229E, 14.97% were NL63 and 7.82% were HKU1. The month distribution showed that totally HCoV was prevalent in winter, but differences existed in different species. The 5 year distribution of HCoV showed a peak-valley distribution trend, with the detection rate higher in 2011 and 2013 whereas lower in 2010, 2012 and 2014. The age distribution revealed that children (especially those <3 years old) and old people (>50 years) were both high risk groups to be infected by HCoV. Of the 294 HCoV positive patients, 34.69% (101 cases) were co-infected by other common respiratory viruses, and influenza virus was the most common co-infecting virus (30/101, 29.70%). Fifteen HCoV-OC43 positive samples of 2013–2014 were selected for S gene sequencing and phylogenetic analysis, and the results showed that the 15 strains could be divided into 2 clusters in the phylogenetic tree, 12 strains of which formed a separate cluster that was closer to genotype G found in Malaysia. It was revealed for the first time that genotype B and genotype G of HCoV-OC43 co-circulated and the newly defined genotype G was epidemic as a dominant genotype during 2013–2014 in Guanzhou, south China.



Coronaviruses invade the respiratory tract via the nose. After an incubation period of about 3 days, they cause the symptoms of a common cold, including nasal obstruction, sneezing, runny nose, and occasionally cough



Coronaviruses were discovered in the 1960s; the earliest ones discovered were infectious bronchitis virus in chickens and 2 viruses from the nasal cavities of human patients with the common cold that were subsequently named human coronavirus 229E and human coronavirus OC43.



Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) was a contagious disease caused by the SARS-CoV coronavirus. ... From there, it rapidly spread around the world, infecting people in 37 countries. SARS-CoV is unique. It can infect both the upper and lower respiratory tract and can also cause gastroenteritis


Replication of Coronavirus begins with entry to the cell which takes place in the cytoplasm in a membrane-protected microenvironment. Upon entry to the cell the virus particle is uncoated and the RNA genome is deposited into the cytoplasm




The first instances of the viral infection had been linked to a seafood market in the city of Wuhan that is now closed. Chinese officials had previously said that the virus did not appear to spread person-to-person but Zhong said that two people in Guangdong Province, China, who had not visited Wuhan had contracted the virus through contact with another person, according to the AP reports.



·       Runny nose

·       Headache

·       Cough

·       Sore throat

·       Fever

·       Ageneral feeling of being unwell


Human coronaviruses can sometimes cause lower-respiratory tract illnesses, such as pneumonia or bronchitis. This is more common in people with cardiopulmonary disease, people with weakened immune systems, infants, and older adults.



Coronaviruses are named for the crown-like spikes on their surface. There are four main sub-groupings of coronaviruses, known as alpha, beta, gamma, and delta.


Human coronaviruses were first identified in the mid-1960s. The seven coronaviruses that can infect people are:

Common human coronaviruses:

1.     229E (alpha coronavirus)

2.     NL63 (alpha coronavirus)

3.     OC43 (beta coronavirus)

4.     HKU1 (beta coronavirus)


Other human coronaviruses:

5.     MERS-CoV (the beta coronavirus that causes Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, or MERS)

6.     SARS-CoV (the beta coronavirus that causes severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS)

7.     2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)


People around the world commonly get infected with human coronaviruses 229E, NL63, OC43, and HKU1.




Sometimes coronaviruses that infect animals can evolve and make people sick and become a new human coronavirus. Three recent examples of this are 2019-nCoV, SARS-CoV, and MERS-CoV.



A healthcare provider may order laboratory tests on respiratory specimens and serum (part of your blood) to detect human coronaviruses. Laboratory testing is more likely to be used if you have severe disease or are suspected of having MERS.


If you are experiencing symptoms, you should tell your healthcare provider about any recent travel or contact with animals. Most MERS-CoV infections have been reported from countries in the Arabian Peninsula. Therefore reporting a travel history or contact with camels or camel products is very important when trying to diagnose MERS.



Human coronaviruses most commonly spread from an infected person to others through

·       The air by coughing and sneezing

·       Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands

·       Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing your hands

·       Rarely, fecal contamination


In the United States, people usually get infected with common human coronaviruses in the fall and winter. However, you can get infected at any time of the year. Most people will get infected with one or more of the common human coronaviruses in their lifetime. Young children are most likely to get infected. However, people can have multiple infections in their lifetime.



In China, all patients with suspected 2019-nCoV were admitted to a designated hospital in Wuhan. They prospectively collected and analysed data on patients with laboratory-confirmed 2019-nCoV infection by real-time RT-PCR and next-generation sequencing. Data were obtained with standardised data collection forms shared by the International Severe Acute Respiratory and Emerging Infection Consortium from electronic medical records. Researchers also directly communicated with patients or their families to ascertain epidemiological and symptom data. Outcomes were also compared between patients who had been admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) and those who had not.



How to protect yourself?

There are currently no vaccines available to protect you against human coronavirus infection. You may be able to reduce your risk of infection by doing the following

·       Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

·       Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.

·       Avoid close contact with people who are sick.


How to protect others ?

If you have cold-like symptoms, you can help protect others by doing the following

·       Stay home while you are sick

·       Avoid close contact with others

·       Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands

·       Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces



there are no specific treatments for illnesses caused by human coronaviruses. Most people with common human coronavirus illness will recover on their own. However, you can do some things to relieve your symptoms

·       Take pain and fever medications (Caution: do not give Aspirin to children)

·       Use a room humidifier or take a hot shower to help ease a sore throat and cough


If you are mildly sick, you should

·       Drink plenty of liquids

·       Stay home and rest


If you are concerned about your symptoms, you should see your healthcare provider.


As of (January 23), 18 people have died from a newly identified coronavirus, and more than 630 have been infected. Airports are screening passengers coming from at-risk regions. Public celebrations of the Lunar New Year have been cancelled in several Chinese cities. China has stopped trains and other transportation leaving Wuhan, where the infections originated, and restricted travel within the city and neighboring areas. The World Health Organization (WHO) held a conference onJan 23to discuss the travel bans and other precautions related to the new disease, currently being called 2019-nCoV, a respiratory virus with characteristics similar to severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) from 2003.


It really is an amazing feat that they got these sequences out as quickly as they did,” says VineetMenachery, a virologist at the University of Texas Medical Branch who has studied the new genome. That speed, he notes, stands in contrast with the SARS outbreak, in which “for many months, it was not known that there was an outbreak.”


While there are still concerns that China has silenced critics and downplayed the seriousness of the disease, the genome’s availability is already helping doctors properly diagnose the infection. It causes flu-like symptoms such as cough and fever that make it difficult to distinguish from other, more common illnesses.


“It seems like it might be a little less clinically severe than SARS, though it’s still very early,” says Alex Greninger, a virologist at the University of Washington. “This virus has escalated quite quickly. And when you’re at this point in the epidemic curve, it’s very hard to know which way things are going.”


The virus is somewhat similar to the SARS virus, says Menachery. He points out that almost all of 2019-nCoV’s proteins are the same as SARS’s, but “it does have differences in the key areas that you would expect will influence its ability to infect humans.”



Coronaviruses are so named because they have surface proteins that stick out like tips on a crown. These spikes help them invade cells. The S1 region of the protein first binds to a receptor on a human (or animal) cell, and the S2 region then fuses and allows the virus to enter that cell. Menachery (Professor, Anthropologist, Historian) says the S2 portion of the spike protein on the coronavirus matches that of the SARS virus, but the S1 region is somewhat different, meaning 2019-nCoV could use a different cell receptor for entry than the SARS virus does. However, a preprint that came out today from Wuhan-based scientists suggests that the two viruses do, in fact, utilize the same cell entry receptor, ACE2.


It’s possible that antiviral treatments currently in development to treat other viruses may be able to treat this new virus. The genomic analysis has suggested that the virus’ RNA polymerase—the target of one such drug called antiviral remdesivir (Dose may need adjustment (2.3, 8.6, 12.3))—is conserved in 2019-nCoV. “We’d expect that they would work. But again, you don’t know that they’ll work until you actually test them. Nature has a way of getting around things,” says Menachery. Plus, the treatments haven’t been approved for any indications yet. There is a clinical trial recruiting patients to test the drug’s ability to treat Ebola, but other work is still preclinical.


Additionally, while scientists know the virus emerged in Wuhan, China, at a market known for selling all sorts of live animals from both land and ocean, it’s unclear what species the virus came from, and that can’t be determined from the genome alone. “Knowing the source of the SARS epidemic really helped stamp out the problem,” says Anthony Fehr, who studies coronaviruses at the University of Kansas. “We can’t figure out the source just knowing the [genetic] sequence.”


The genome does give scientists some insight, though. For example, there was very little genetic variation between the first 10 patient samples sequenced by various teams across the world. Menachery says that’s a sign the virus recently jumped from animals to humans. “It doesn’t appear that these viruses have been in human populations for a long time and just not recognized,” he says. “It appears that they potentially recently emerged from either an animal host or some other location.”



 Eleven people in four cities of India have been kept under observation after they returned from China and showed mild symptoms of the new coronavirus that has killed 41 people in the country, infected nearly 1,300 there and has spread across Asia as well as the US and Europe.



There is no cure for the common cold.

A coronavirus causes both SARS and MERS.

Coronaviruses infect many different species.

There are six known human coronaviruses.

SARS spread from China to cause infection in 37 countries, killing 774 people.



Is it safe to receive a letter or a package from China?

Yes, it is safe. People receiving packages from China are not at risk of contracting the new coronavirus. From previous analysis, we know coronaviruses do not survive long on objects, such as letters or packages.


Can pets at home spread the new coronavirus (2019-nCoV)?

At present, there is no evidence that companion animals/pets such as dogs or cats can be infected with the new coronavirus. However, it is always a good idea to wash your hands with soap and water after contact with pets. This protects you against various common bacteria such as E.coli and Salmonella that can pass between pets and humans.


Do vaccines against pneumonia protect you against the new coronavirus?

No. Vaccines against pneumonia, such as pneumococcal vaccine and Haemophilus influenza type B (Hib) vaccine, do not provide protection against the new coronavirus.


The virus is so new and different that it needs its own vaccine. Researchers are trying to develop a vaccine against 2019-nCoV, and WHO is supporting their efforts.


Although these vaccines are not effective against 2019-nCoV, vaccination against respiratory illnesses is highly recommended to protect your health.


Can regularly rinsing your nose with saline help prevent infection with the new coronavirus?

No. There is no evidence that regularly rinsing the nose with saline has protected people from infection with the new coronavirus.


There is some limited evidence that regularly rinsing nose with saline can help people recover more quickly from the common cold. However, regularly rinsing the nose has not been shown to prevent respiratory infections.


Can gargling mouthwash protect you from infection with the new coronavirus?

No. There is no evidence that using mouthwash will protect you from infection with the new coronavirus.


Some brands or mouthwash can eliminate certain microbes for a few minutes in the saliva in your mouth. However, this does not mean they protect you from 2019-nCoV infection.Can eating garlic help prevent infection with the new coronavirus?


Garlic is a healthy food that may have some antimicrobial properties. However, there is no evidence from the current outbreak that eating garlic has protected people from the new coronavirus.


Are antibiotics effective in preventing and treating the new coronavirus?

No, antibiotics do not work against viruses, only bacteria.


The new coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is a virus and, therefore, antibiotics should not be used as a means of prevention or treatment.


However, if you are hospitalized for the 2019-nCoV, you may receive antibiotics because bacterial co-infection is possible.


Does the new coronavirus affect older people, or are younger people also susceptible?

People of all ages can be infected by the new coronavirus (2019-nCoV). Older people, and people with pre-existing medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease) appear to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with the virus.


WHO advises people of all ages to take steps to protect themselves from the virus, for example by following good hand hygiene and good respiratory hygiene.


Does putting on sesame oil block the new coronavirus from entering the body?

No. Sesame oil does not kill the new coronavirus. There are some chemical disinfectants that can kill the 2019-nCoV on surfaces. These include bleach/chlorine-based disinfectants, either solvents, 75% ethanol, peracetic acid and chloroform.


However, they have little or no impact on the virus if you put them on the skin or under your nose. It can even be dangerous to put these chemicals on your skin.


Are there any specific medicines to prevent or treat the new coronavirus?

To date, there is no specific medicine recommended to prevent or treat the new coronavirus (2019-nCoV).


However, those infected with the virus should receive appropriate care to relieve and treat symptoms, and those with severe illness should receive optimized supportive care. Some specific treatments are under investigation, and will be tested through clinical trials. WHO is helping to accelerate research and development efforts with a range or partners



corona virus has now emerged as a latest potential challenge to the field of medicine.The Preventive measures and awareness about spread of the disease can save many a number of people who are directly and indirectly in touch to the infected and vectors.With an exhaustive study to be made,a lot of research is yet to be done. Diversified areas of research and drug discovery accounts for the eradication, management and treatment of this viral disease.


The latest:

The coronavirus outbreak has killed at least 259 people and infected close to 12,000 people globally, as it continues to spread beyond China.

·       Global spread:

The virus has been confirmed in more than a dozen countries and territories since it was first detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December. Countries are now sending planes to evacuate their citizens from the infection zone, and imposing travel bans or restrictions on travelers from China.

·       Race to contain:

Nearly 60 million people are under lockdown in Chinese cities as international researchers race to develop a vaccine and halt its spread.



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Received on 25.02.2020         Modified on 18.03.2020

Accepted on 21.04.2020       ©A&V Publications All right reserved

Res.  J. Pharmacology and Pharmacodynamics.2020; 12(2): 64-70.

DOI: 10.5958/2321-5836.2020.00013.0