In December 2019, the latest member of the coronavirus family, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), emerged in Wuhan, China, leading to the outbreak of an unusual viral pneumonia known as coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). COVID-19 was then declared as a pandemic in March 2020 by the World Health Organization (WHO). The initial mortality rate of COVID-19 declared by WHO was 2%; however, this rate has increased to 3.4% as of 3 March 2020. People of all ages can be infected with SARS-CoV-2, but those aged 60 or above and those with underlying medical conditions are more prone to develop severe symptoms that may lead to death. Patients with severe infection usually experience a hyper pro-inflammatory immune reaction (i.e., cytokine storm) causing acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), which has been shown to be the leading cause of death in COVID-19 patients. However, the factors associated with COVID-19 susceptibility, resistance and severity remain poorly understood. In this review, we thoroughly explore the correlation between various host, viral and environmental markers, and SARS-CoV-2 in terms of susceptibility and severity.
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