COVID-19: a literature review

 Greta Mitkutė1, Mantas Guzevičius1, Unė Krasauskaitė1

1Lithuania University of Health Sciences, Academy of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Kaunas, Lithuania


The coronavirus (COVID-19) infection caused a global crisis. The infection spread worldwide 3 months after the first case of new virus was registered and it affected more than 110 countries. COVID-19 became the focus of the community, media, politics and the field of medicine. This literature review discusses the main peculiarities of the COVID-19 infection.

Three  of seven known species of coronavirus are responsible for infections in humans. The reviewed COVID-19 is caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and spreads by air-droplets. COVID-19 manifests by fever and dry cough, accompanied by dyspnea, and fatigue. Most of the cases are mild, asymptomatic and proceed without any complications. Severe cases are mostly in elderly patients or those with chronic concomitant diseases and they require an additional supply of oxygen in order to maintain respiratory function. Diagnostic is complicated by the fact, that the infection has no specific signs. COVID -19 is diagnosed by performing microbiological tests from pus, nasopharynx, bronchial or tracheal secretion using a polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Laboratory and clinical trials are underway to develop anti-viral drugs against SARS-CoV-2 because there is still no specific treatment. Pneumonia and acute severe respiratory distress syndrome are the main lethal complications, especially among the elderly. The infection may also lead to shock, acute damage of the kidneys, liver or heart. Because of the massive spread of the virus, it is necessary to take all possible measures in order to stop it. Restriction of human contact, isolation for feverish or those who returned from high risk countries is one of the main means of prevention. It is significant to follow all recommendations provided by health care facilities in order to protect yourself and others.

Keywords: COVID-19, coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, infection, pneumonia.