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      Pandemics Throughout History


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          The emergence and spread of infectious diseases with pandemic potential occurred regularly throughout history. Major pandemics and epidemics such as plague, cholera, flu, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) have already afflicted humanity. The world is now facing the new coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Many infectious diseases leading to pandemics are caused by zoonotic pathogens that were transmitted to humans due to increased contacts with animals through breeding, hunting and global trade activities. The understanding of the mechanisms of transmission of pathogens to humans allowed the establishment of methods to prevent and control infections. During centuries, implementation of public health measures such as isolation, quarantine and border control helped to contain the spread of infectious diseases and maintain the structure of the society. In the absence of pharmaceutical interventions, these containment methods have still been used nowadays to control COVID-19 pandemic. Global surveillance programs of water-borne pathogens, vector-borne diseases and zoonotic spillovers at the animal-human interface are of prime importance to rapidly detect the emergence of infectious threats. Novel technologies for rapid diagnostic testing, contact tracing, drug repurposing, biomarkers of disease severity as well as new platforms for the development and production of vaccines are needed for an effective response in case of pandemics.

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          Most cited references172

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          A Novel Coronavirus from Patients with Pneumonia in China, 2019

          Summary In December 2019, a cluster of patients with pneumonia of unknown cause was linked to a seafood wholesale market in Wuhan, China. A previously unknown betacoronavirus was discovered through the use of unbiased sequencing in samples from patients with pneumonia. Human airway epithelial cells were used to isolate a novel coronavirus, named 2019-nCoV, which formed a clade within the subgenus sarbecovirus, Orthocoronavirinae subfamily. Different from both MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV, 2019-nCoV is the seventh member of the family of coronaviruses that infect humans. Enhanced surveillance and further investigation are ongoing. (Funded by the National Key Research and Development Program of China and the National Major Project for Control and Prevention of Infectious Disease in China.)
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            Presenting Characteristics, Comorbidities, and Outcomes Among 5700 Patients Hospitalized With COVID-19 in the New York City Area

            There is limited information describing the presenting characteristics and outcomes of US patients requiring hospitalization for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
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              Isolation of a novel coronavirus from a man with pneumonia in Saudi Arabia.

              A previously unknown coronavirus was isolated from the sputum of a 60-year-old man who presented with acute pneumonia and subsequent renal failure with a fatal outcome in Saudi Arabia. The virus (called HCoV-EMC) replicated readily in cell culture, producing cytopathic effects of rounding, detachment, and syncytium formation. The virus represents a novel betacoronavirus species. The closest known relatives are bat coronaviruses HKU4 and HKU5. Here, the clinical data, virus isolation, and molecular identification are presented. The clinical picture was remarkably similar to that of the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak in 2003 and reminds us that animal coronaviruses can cause severe disease in humans.

                Author and article information

                Front Microbiol
                Front Microbiol
                Front. Microbiol.
                Frontiers in Microbiology
                Frontiers Media S.A.
                15 January 2021
                15 January 2021
                : 11
                CHU de Québec – Laval University , Quebec City, QC, Canada
                Author notes

                Edited by: Karl Kuchler, Medical University of Vienna, Austria

                Reviewed by: Axel Cloeckaert, Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement (INRAE), France; Kingston H. Mills, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland

                *Correspondence: Guy Boivin, Guy.Boivin@ 123456crchudequebec.ulaval.ca

                This article was submitted to Infectious Diseases, a section of the journal Frontiers in Microbiology

                Copyright © 2021 Piret and Boivin.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

                Page count
                Figures: 1, Tables: 1, Equations: 0, References: 186, Pages: 16, Words: 0
                Funded by: Canadian Institutes of Health Research 10.13039/501100000024
                Award ID: 148361

                Microbiology & Virology
                infectious diseases,zoonotic pathogens,pandemic,public health measures,pharmaceutical interventions,water-borne pathogens


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