At the end of December 2019, in Wuhan, China, a rapidly spreading unknown virus was reported to have caused coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19). Origin linked to Wuhan’s wholesale food market where live animals are sold. This disease is caused by SARS Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), which is closely related to the Severe Acute Respiratory Coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV). This virus shares a high sequence identity with bat-derived SARS-like Coronavirus, which indicating its zoonotic origin. The virus spread globally, provoking widespread attention and panic. This Coronavirus is highly pathogenic and causes mild to severe respiratory disorders. Later, it was declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) due to its highly infectious nature and worldwide mortality rate. This virus is a single-stranded, positive-sense RNA genome, and its genome length about 26 to 32 kb that infects a broad range of vertebrates. The researchers worldwide focus on establishing treatment strategies on drug and vaccine development to prevent this COVID-19 pandemic. A drug repurposing approach has been used to identify a rapid treatment for the people affected by COVID-19, which could be cost-effective and bypass some Food and Drug Association (FDA) regulations to move quickly in phase-3 trials. However, there is no promising therapeutic option available yet. This book chapter addresses current information about the COVID-19 disease, including its origins, impacts, and the novel potential drug candidates that can help treat the COVID-19.
Part of the book: SARS-CoV-2 Origin and COVID-19 Pandemic Across the Globe