HomeClinical Management1 COVID-19 FactsHow is SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) different from MERS or SARS-CoV-1

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How is SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) different from MERS or SARS-CoV-1

All three of them are what are called zoonotic diseases. So these are coronaviruses that don’t normally circulate in humans, they normally circulate in other animal species.

In this case many of them seem to be similar to bat coronaviruses at least in the case of the novel 2019 coronavirus. And then they jump into humans and cause an unusual syndrome because the human body isn’t used to interacting with that virus.

In terms of how they’re different from SARS and MERS: the mortality difference seems to be quite striking. SARS had a mortality on average in the 10 to 12 percent range overall, whereas this novel coronavirus has a mortality that’s closer to 2%. MERS was closer to 30% mortality.

Other big differences SARS seem to affect healthcare providers and really had an affinity for hospitals, whereas the novel coronavirus, there has been very limited transmission and examples published to healthcare workers it seems to not have a preponderance to circulating in healthcare, although we’re still waiting for more data on that.

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