The 21st century has seen several infectious disease outbreaks that have turned into epidemics and pandemics including Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) which began in Asia in 2003 (Poon, Guan, Nicholls, Yuen, & Peiris, 2004), followed by H1N1 that emerged in Mexico and the United States in 2009 (Belongia et al., 2010). Next came the lesser known Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) originating in Saudi Arabia in 2012 (Assiri et al., 2013), after which the Ebola outbreak in West Africa took place from 2014 to 2016, with a more recent occurrence in the Democratic Republic of Congo from 2018 to 2019 (Malvy, McElroy, de Clerck, Günther, & van Griensven, 2019). To date, the coronavirus (COVID‐19) outbreak that started in Wuhan, in the Hubei province of China, in late December 2019 seems to be eclipsing all of these previous infectious diseases in terms of its global reach and impact (Wang, Horby, Hayden, & Gao, 2020). After being declared by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a public health emergency on 30 January 2020 (World Health Organization, 2020c), it was elevated to a pandemic status on 11 March 2020 (World Health Organization, 2020d). As of 28 April 2020, there are more than 2.9 million cases and 202,597 deaths reported worldwide (World Health Organization, 2020b).


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Atique, S., Bautista, J., Block, L., Lee, J., Lozada-Perezmitre, E., Nibber, R., O'Connor, S., Peltonen, L., Ronquillo, C., Tayaben, J., Thilo, F. & Topaz, M. 2020, 'A nursing informatics response to COVID-19: Perspectives from five regions of the world', Journal of Advanced Nursing. https://doi.org/10.1111/jan.14417

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Last updated: 03 September 2022
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