Disease X (Covid-19) case study

Sars-CoV-2 (COVID-19) as a model for unknown pathogens

At the end of 2019, the first case of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) was reported in Wuhan, China. The novel coronavirus is a new strain of coronavirus which had not been identified in humans before, spreading very quickly across the globe and causing one of the most serious pandemics of the 21st century.

The current rates of urbanisation, globalization, high mobility and trade, human pressure on the environment and climate change are favouring the emergence of unknown infectious diseases, i.e.“infections that have newly appeared in a population or have existed previously but are rapidly increasing in incidence or geographic range”. More than 60% of zoonoses and their incidence have significantly increased over time placing an additional burden on human and veterinary public health services.

Since its beginning, the MOOD project has been at the frontline of COVID-19 research. The COVID-19 case study implemented in this stage of the project adopts a retrospective approach with the aim to describe all scientific and development work produced by MOOD partners to address the needs of Public Health agencies and governments during the different stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.