CPD Articles

Novel coronavirus pandemic: A clinical overview

Ramprakash Kaswa, Indiran Govender
South African Family Practice | Vol 62, No 1 : Part 2| a5123 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/safp.v62i1.5123 | © 2020 Ramprakash Kaswa, Indiran Govender | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 12 April 2020 | Published: 26 June 2020

About the author(s)

Ramprakash Kaswa, Department of Family Medicine and Rural Health, Walter Sisulu University, Mthatha, South Africa
Indiran Govender, Department of Family Medicine, Kalafong Hospital, Pretoria, South Africa; and, Department of Family Medicine, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa


The outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is an emergent public health crisis threatening the current world health establishment. The SARS-Co-2 was first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, in December 2019. There have been about 6.5 million reported cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and about 350 000 reported deaths throughout the world within the last 6 months from the onset of the epidemic. The virus is primarily transmitted by inhalation or contact with infected droplets. The COVID-19 patient usually presents with fever, cough, sore throat and breathlessness. Currently, available data indicate that the majority of people with the disease have mild symptoms, while about 20% present with moderate-to-severe disease. About 5% of these may progress to pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome and multi-organ dysfunction. To date, there is no recommended medical treatment, and supportive measures are a crucial part of management. The case fatality rate of SARS-CoV-2 is lower than that of its two coronavirus predecessors, that is, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV). The full impact of this new pandemic on health, social and economic well-being of humankind is yet to be ascertained.


COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; coronavirus; pneumonia; PPI; IPC


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