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Past, Present, and Future of COVID-19: a Review

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Romano, C.M., Chebabo, A., & Levi, J.E.. (2020). Past, present, and future of COVID-19: a review. Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research, 53(9), e10475. Epub July 24, 2020.https://doi.org/10.1590/1414-431×202010475

SARS-CoV-2 has recently emerged, becoming a global threat, affecting directly all human beings owing to its morbidity and mortality and indirectly, due to the enormous economic and psychological impact produced by social isolation, the most effective measure so far, but unsustainable for a long period. The scientific effort to understand and control SARS-CoV-2 transmission and clinical impact has been huge, and important achievements are highlighted in this review. Diagnosis is central and is the first step in recognizing and fighting any infectious agent. Instrumental to that is the quality of the data, relying on serological and molecular surveys in addition to trustworthy clinical records. However, the fast spread of a virus adapted for human-to-human respiratory transmission raised a demand for millions of molecular tests that are simply not available. Several candidate drugs are under evaluation in clinical trials. Those with an already recognized safety profile are more auspicious, since, if proven effective, can cut several steps of production and phase 2 and 3 trials. More than one hundred vaccine prototypes are in different stages of development, however, safety and efficacy evaluations cannot be obviated, implicating, most optimistically, in at least months for us to have an effective immunization, the definite measure to allow a safe return to the pre-pandemic lifestyle. Science has never been more necessary and present in daily life. Relying on the best of human wit is the only way out to this pandemic, saving as many lives as possible.

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