COVID-19: An International Public Health Concern

Main Article Content

Israel Oluwasegun Ayenigbara


This review presents a synopsis on the current COVID-19 pandemic, with focus on preventive measures. COVID-19 is a new viral infection, and is in form of a positive-sense, single-stranded RNA Coronavirus which belongs to an expanded group of viruses which were identified six decades ago. Importantly, the new COVID-19 belongs to the group of SARS-CoV, and it originated in bats but infected humans through smuggled pangolins. At first, the mode of transmission of infection was animal-to-person, but person-to-person and community transmission of the virus has been confirmed in many parts of the world. With an incubation period of between two-fourteen days, signs and symptoms of infection are mild to high respiratory illness; characterized with cough, breathing problems (shortness of breath), high temperature (Fever), tiredness (Fatigue) and nausea. Presently, no vaccines or specific treatment is available for COVID-19, in light of the aforementioned; prevention is the only substantial and less expensive option. With the envisaged explosive community transmission of COVID-19 in the coming weeks in places with limited daily testing, especially in African countries, it is recommended among many that social distancing which includes avoiding any form of contact with people; either through greetings, hugging or shaking of hands and large gatherings, avoid contact with animal items, dead or alive animals, sick and dead people from areas experiencing COVID-19 epidemic, and basic hygienic practices like thorough washing of hands with clean water and antiseptic soap for the duration of at least twenty seconds should be practiced always. However, in the absence of the aforementioned, an alcohol-based hand gel should be used on the hands frequently. Furthermore, health care workers should adhere strictly to the standard preventive measures in areas of heightened COVID-19 epidemic.

Article Details

How to Cite
Ayenigbara, I. O. (2020). COVID-19: An International Public Health Concern. Central Asian Journal of Global Health, 9(1).


1. Sohrabi C, Alsafi Z, O'Neill N, et al. World Health Organization declares Global Emergency: A review of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). Int J Surg. 2020; pii: S1743-9191(20)30197-7.
2. Live science. New coronavirus from China: Everything you need to know. 2020. Accessed March 27, 2020.
3. Geller C, Varbanov M, Duval R. Human coronaviruses: insights into environmental resistance and its influence on the development of new antiseptic strategies. Viruses. 2012; 4 (11): 3044–3068.
4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Emergency Preparedness and Response. 2020. Accessed March 27, 2020.
5. World Health Organization. Surveillance case definitions for human infection with novel coronavirus (nCoV). 2020. Accessed March 27, 2020.
6. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV): Situation Summary. 2020. Accessed March 27, 2020.
7. Gen bank. Wuhan seafood market pneumonia virus isolate Wuhan-Hu-1, complete genome. 2020. Accessed March 27, 2020.
8. World Health Organization. Pneumonia of unknown cause – China. 2020. Accessed March 27, 2020.
9. Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy. Report: Thailand's coronavirus patient didn't visit outbreak market. 2020. Accessed March 27, 2020.
10. Xinhua. New-type coronavirus causes pneumonia in Wuhan: expert. 2020. Accessed March 27, 2020.
11. Domenico B, Marta G, Alessandra C, Silvia S, Silvia A, Massimo C. The 2019-new Coronavirus epidemic: evidence for virus evolution. 2020. Accessed March 27, 2020.
12. Wuhan Institute of Virology. Discovery of a novel coronavirus associated with the recent pneumonia outbreak in humans and its potential bat origin. 2020. Accessed March 27, 2020.
13. Zhou P, Yang X, Wang X, et al. (2020). A pneumonia outbreak associated with a new coronavirus of probable bat origin. Nature. 2020.
14. Lu R, Zhao X, Li J, et al. Genomic characterization and epidemiology of 2019 novel coronavirus: implications for virus origins and receptor binding. Lancet. 2020; 395(10224):565-574.
15. Chan J, Kok K, Zhu Z, et al. Genomic characterization of the 2019 novel human-pathogenic coronavirus isolated from a patient with atypical pneumonia after visiting Wuhan. Emerg Microbes Infect. 2020; 9(1):221-236.
16. Jiang S, Shi Z. The First Disease X is Caused by a Highly Transmissible Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus. Virol Sin. 2020.
17. Lin Q, Zhao S, Gao D, et al. A conceptual model for the outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Wuhan, china with individual reaction and governmental action. Int J Infect Dis. 2020. Pii: S1201-9712 (20) 30117-x.
18. Jalava K. First respiratory transmitted food borne outbreak?. Int J Hyg Environ Health. 2020; 226:113490.

19. Lai C, Shih T, Ko W, Tang H, Hsueh P. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19): The epidemic and the challenges. Int J Antimicrob Agents. 2020: 105924.
20. Liu J, Liao X, Qian S, et al. Community Transmission of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2, Shenzhen, China, 2020. Emerg Infect Dis. 2020; 26(6).
21. Wu W, Li Y, Wei Z, et al. [Investigation and analysis on characteristics of a cluster of COVID-19 associated with exposure in a department store in Tianjin]. Zhonghua Liu Xing Bing Xue Za Zhi. 2020; 41(4):489-493.
22. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. China confirms human-to-human transmission of new coronavirus. 2020. Accessed March 27, 2020.
23. Burke R, Midgley C, Dratch A, et al. Active Monitoring of Persons Exposed to Patients with Confirmed COVID-19 - United States, January-February 2020. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2020; 69(9):245-246.
24. Wu Y, Chen C, Chan Y. The outbreak of COVID-19: An overview. J Chin Med Assoc. 2020; 83(3):217-220.
25. European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. Presumed ongoing community transmission. 2020. Accessed March 27, 2020.
26. Ralph R, Lew J, Zeng T, et al. 2019-nCoV (Wuhan virus), a novel Coronavirus: human-to-human transmission, travel-related cases, and vaccine readiness. J Infect Dev Ctries. 2020; 14(1):3-17.
27. Kam K, Yung C, Cui L, et al. A Well Infant with Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) with High Viral Load Clin Infect Dis. 2020. pii: ciaa201.
28. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2019 Novel Coronavirus, Wuhan, China. Symptoms & Complications. 2020. Accessed March 27, 2020.
29. Wang Y, Wang Y, Chen Y, Qin Q. Unique epidemiological and clinical features of the emerging 2019 novel coronavirus pneumonia (COVID-19) implicate special control measures. J Med Virol. 2020.
30. Hui D, Azhar E, Madani T, et al. The continuing 2019-nCoV epidemic threat of novel coronaviruses to global health – The latest 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, China. Int J Infect Dis. 2020; 14 (91): 264–266.
31. Tian S, Hu N, Lou J, et al. Characteristics of COVID-19 infection in Beijing. J Infect. 2020. pii: S0163-4453(20)30101-8.
32. Corman V, Lienau J, Witzenrath M. [Coronaviruses as the cause of respiratory infections]. Internist (Berl). 2019; 60(11):1136-1145.
33. Wu J, Liu J, Zhao X, et al. Clinical Characteristics of Imported Cases of COVID-19 in Jiangsu Province: A Multicenter Descriptive Study. Clin Infect Dis. 2020. pii: ciaa199.
34. Zhao W, Zhong Z, Xie X, Yu Q, Liu J. Relation Between Chest CT Findings and Clinical Conditions of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Pneumonia: A Multicenter Study. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2020:1-6.
35. Ontario. Wuhan Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV). 2020. Accessed March 27, 2020.
36. Wuhan Municipal Health Commission. Experts explain the latest bulletin of unknown cause of viral pneumonia. 2020. Accessed March 27, 2020.
37. Zhou S, Wang Y, Zhu T, Xia L. 2020. CT Features of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pneumonia in 62 Patients in Wuhan, China. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2020: 1-8.
38. World Health Organization. WHO Director-General's statement on the advice of the IHR Emergency Committee on Novel Coronavirus. 2020. Accessed March 27, 2020.
39. Chen N, Zhou M, Dong X, et al. Epidemiological and clinical characteristics of 99 cases of 2019 novel coronavirus pneumonia in Wuhan, China: a descriptive study. Lancet. 2020; 395 (10223): 507–13.
40. Huang C, Wang Y, Li X, et al. Clinical features of patients infected with 2019 novel coronavirus in Wuhan, China. Lancet. 395 (10223): 497–506.
41. World Health Organization. Novel Coronavirus 2019. 2020. Accessed March 27, 2020.
42. World Health Organization. Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Report – 69. 2020. Accessed March 29, 2020.
43. The Guardian. Coronavirus outbreak: What is the coronavirus and how worried should we be?. 2020. Accessed March 27, 2020.
44. Reuters. WHO says new China coronavirus could spread, warns hospitals worldwide. 2020. Accessed March 27, 2020.
45. British Broadcasting Cooperation. Coronavirus: Beijing orders 14-day quarantine for returnees. 2020. Accessed March 30, 2020.
46. Egypt Today. Egypt announces first Coronavirus infection. 2020. Accessed March 30, 2020.
47. British Broadcasting Cooperation. Coronavirus: Nigeria confirms first case in sub-Saharan Africa. 2020. Accessed March 30, 2020.
48. New York Times. Africa Braces for Coronavirus, but Slowly. 2020. Accessed March 30, 2020.
49. Cable News Network. Here are the African countries with confirmed coronavirus cases. 2020. Accessed March 30, 2020.
50. Bloomberg. UN Sees Africa Sliding Into Recession Without Debt Help. 2020. Accessed March 30, 2020.
51. Nigeria Center for Disease Control COVID-19 HIGHLIGHTS. 2020. Accessed March 30, 2020.
52. Punch Newspaper. COVID-19: Buhari exempts health care workers, journalists from 14-day sit-at-home order. 2020. Accessed March 30, 2020.
53. Lu H. Drug treatment options for the 2019-new coronavirus (2019-nCoV). Biosci Trends. 2020.
54. Li H, Wang Y, Xu J, Cao B. [Potential antiviral therapeutics for 2019 Novel Coronavirus]. Zhonghua Jie He He Hu Xi Za Zhi. 2020; 43(0):E002.
55. Morse J, Lalonde T, Xu S, Liu W. Learning from the Past: Possible Urgent Prevention and Treatment Options for Severe Acute Respiratory Infections Caused by 2019-nCoV. Chembiochem. 2020; 21(5):730-738.
56. Jin Y, Cai L, Cheng Z, et al. A rapid advice guideline for the diagnosis and treatment of 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) infected pneumonia (standard version). Mil Med Res. 2020 Feb; 7(1):4.
57. Shen K, Yang Y, Wang T, et al. Diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of 2019 novel coronavirus infection in children: experts' consensus statement. World J Pediatr. 2020.
58. Gao J, Tian Z, Yang X. Break through: Chloroquine phosphate has shown apparent efficacy in treatment of COVID-19 associated pneumonia in clinical studies". Bioscience Trends. 2020.
59. Reuters. WHO says new China coronavirus could spread, warns hospitals worldwide. 2020. Accessed March 27, 2020.
60. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Travelers' Health: Novel Coronavirus in China. 2020. Accessed March 27, 2020.
61. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2019 Novel Coronavirus, Wuhan, China: Prevention. 2020. Accessed March 27, 2020.
62. Lai T, Tang E, Chau S, Fung K, Li K. Stepping up infection control measures in ophthalmology during the novel coronavirus outbreak: an experience from Hong Kong. Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 2020.
63. Chang L, Yan Y, Wang L. Coronavirus Disease 2019: Coronaviruses and Blood Safety. Transfus Med Rev. 2020. pii: S0887-7963(20)30014-6.
64. Peeri N, Shrestha N, Rahman M, et al. The SARS, MERS and novel coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemics, the newest and biggest global health threats: what lessons have we learned?. Int J Epidemiol. 2020. pii: dyaa033.