INTRODUCTION

There is a global rise in outbreaks of coronavirus infections resulting in high morbidity and mortality rates among humans and animals.

Bats that are widely distributed, have the capability of flight and are the second largest group of mammalian species are natural reservoirs of these viruses. Coronavirusesbare viruses that typically affect the respiratory tract and gut of mammals and birds, causing important diseases.

In animals, these viruses include the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDv) and porcine delta-coronavirus (PDCoV) in pigs and infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) and turkey coronavirus in poultry.
In humans, coronaviruses causing diseases include the common cold virus, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS- CoV) and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV).

SARS was linked to marketplace Himalayan palm civets (Paguma larvata), bats1 and raccoon dogs (Nyctereutes procyonoides) while MERS originated in bats.2 Both SARS and MERS showed similar clinical symptoms such as cough, dyspnea and pneumonia but advanced cases of MERS appear with clinical renal failure.

Outbreaks of coronaviruses spread like wild bush-fire affecting people from different nationalities and color. It is important to understand the origin of coronaviruses infecting humans and animals, for purposes of prediction and prevention of pandemic emergence in the future.

ECONOMIC CONSEQUENCES OF CORONAVIRUSES OUTBREAKS

Containing epidemics from coronaviruses spillover from bats can be very expensive due to the high morbidity and mortality rates. The occurrence of porcine epidemic diarrhea in 2013 in the United States resulted in a mortality rate of about 100% in affected piglets4 and approximately 10% of America’s pig population was lost in just a year with an estimated net annual decrease for U.S. economic welfare from $900 million to $1.8 billion Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) infected 8,000 people from different continents of the world regardless of color and race with a mortality rate of 10%. In addition to the impact of SARS-CoV on infected individuals and the global community, the economic cost of the SARS- CoV outbreak event was estimated at $16 billion3.  Middle East Respiratory Syndrome

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Policy Brief 2 by Dr Rimfa