Infectious Disease / Respiratory
COVID-19 is a viral infection caused by Severe Acute Respiratory Virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), a Coronavirus first identified in Wuhan China in 2019. Spread of the disease worldwide in 2020 led to the first viral pandemic in over 100 years. COVID-19 is primarily a disease of the respiratory tract with a wide range of severity from asymptomatic, to mild symptoms, to severe pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Common presenting symptoms include fever, shaking chills, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, muscle aches, and loss of smell. The elderly and patients with hypertension and heart disease are particularly susceptible to severe disease with hypoxia, pneumonia, ARDS, multiorgan failure, septic shock, and thrombotic events. The fatality rate, based on existing data, is estimated to be 1-2%.