Coronavirus: Comparison of COVID-19, SARS and MERS | New


The new coronavirus epidemic has spread rapidly around the world, affecting more than 183 countries and territories, infecting more than a million people and killing more than 80,000 people.

He is said to have appeared in China’s Hubei province late last year.

On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the coronavirus outbreak to be a pandemic, which it defined as “the global spread of a new disease”.


Governments have imposed harsh measures, including travel restrictions and curfews, to contain the spread of the virus as scientists around the world rush to find a vaccine.

It is not the first time that an international health crisis has occurred due to the spread of a new coronavirus or other zoonotic viruses (of animal origin), such as the flu that has caused epidemics of swine , bird and seasonal flu in recent history.

It is estimated that seasonal flu alone causes three to five million cases of serious illness and 290,000 to 650,000 respiratory deaths per year.

Here is a comparison of the information and data we have on COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, with similar recent diseases related to the coronavirus.


As of April 7, 2020, the number of COVID-19 cases worldwide was over 1,290,000, with more than 76,000 deaths.

While some regions, such as Hubei Province of China and South Korea, are reporting a decline in the number of new local cases, the number of infections is increasing worldwide.

Although the source of the virus is suggested to be animals, the specific species has not yet been confirmed.

The main symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, fatigue and dry cough, according to the WHO, adding that some patients may experience aches, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea.

According to the WHO, about one in six infected people fall seriously ill and has difficulty breathing.

R0 (pronounced R-nil) is a mathematical term for measuring the contagiousness and reproduction of an infectious disease because it displays the average number of people who will be infected by a contagious person.

WHO places the COVID-19’s R0 between 2 and 2.5.


Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), also caused by a coronavirus, was first reported in November 2002 in southern China’s Guangdong province.

Viral respiratory disease spread to 29 countries on several continents before being contained in July of the following year.

Between its onset and May 2014, when the last case was reported, 8,437 people were infected and 813 of them died.

Various studies and the WHO suggest that the coronavirus that caused SARS came from bats and that it was transmitted to humans by an intermediate animal – civet cats.

Symptoms of SARS are flu-like, such as fever, malaise, myalgia, headache, diarrhea and chills. No other additional symptoms were found to be specific to the diagnosis of SARS.

The R0 of SARS is estimated to be between 2 and 4, with an average of 3, which means it is highly contagious.


Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) is an active viral respiratory disease first identified in Saudi Arabia in 2012.

About 80 percent of human cases have been reported by the kingdom, but it has have been reported in 27 countries.

By March 2020, 2,521 cases of MERS had been confirmed worldwide with 866 deaths due to the disease, mainly in Saudi Arabia.

According to the WHO, dromedaries are a large host reservoir for MERS and an animal source of MERS infection in humans.

However, human cases of MERS infections have been mainly caused by human-to-human transmission.

MERS may have no symptoms, mild respiratory symptoms, or severe acute respiratory disease and death. Fever, cough and shortness of breath are common symptoms.

If it becomes severe, it can cause respiratory failure that requires mechanical ventilation.

The MERS ‘R0 is less than one, which identifies it because it is a slightly contagious disease.

INTERACTIVE: coronavirus epidemics, April 7, 2020


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