Dear Editor,

at this time our country is perturbed by the outbreak of the so-called severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), which is imposing our government and health authorities to adopt stringent measures in order to control the disease and limit its diffusion.

This condition has been declared by the WHO the sixth public health international emergency after H1N1 in 2009, polio in 2014, Ebola in 2014 in West Africa, Zika and Ebola in 2019 in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Since the emergence of this new infection in December 2019 in China, it rapidly diffused to other countries, with the development of new infectious foci in Lombardy and Veneto at the end of February 2020.

At the time of writing, more than 101,900 cases have been confirmed worldwide with more than 3,700 new cases developing in the last 24 hours. Italy is currently the first among the most affected European countries, with about 4,630 cases and more than 770 new cases detected in the last 24 hours (of 07 March 2020).

Epidemiological observations suggest a constant increase in the daily number of global cases (both in China and outside it), with a decreasing trend in new cases in China but not in other countries. Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2; which is mainly located on type I and type II alveolar cells in the human lungs) was found to be the receptor for SARS-CoV-2, and it has been estimated that the binding capability of SARSCoV- 2 is 10-20 times greater compared to that of SARS-CoV 2. (...)

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