Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by SARS-CoV-2 (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome - Coronavirus-2) of the family Coronaviridae, appeared in China in December 2019. This disease was declared as posing Public Health International Emergency by World Health Organization on January 30, 2020, attained the status of a very high-risk category on February 29, and now having a pandemic status (March 11). COVID-19 has presently spread to more than 215 countries/territories while killing nearly 0.75 million humans out of cumulative confirmed infected asymptomatic or symptomatic cases accounting to almost 20.5 million as of August 12, 2020, within a short period of just a few months. Researchers worldwide are pacing with high efforts to counter the spread of this virus and to design effective vaccines and therapeutics/drugs. Few of the studies have shown the potential of the animal-human interface and zoonotic links in the origin of SARS-CoV-2. Exploring the possible zoonosis and revealing the factors responsible for its initial transmission from animals to humans will pave ways to design and implement effective preventive and control strategies to counter the COVID-19. The present review presents a comprehensive overview of COVID-19 and SARS-CoV-2, with emphasis on the role of animals and their jumping the cross-species barriers, experiences learned from SARS- and MERS-CoVs, zoonotic links, and spillover events, transmission to humans and rapid spread, and highlights the new advances in diagnosis, vaccine and therapies, preventive and control measures, one health concept along with recent research developments to counter this pandemic disease.
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