The world has experienced epidemics many times ...

Epidemics have a major impact on the world’s history; economic-political changes, increase in colonialism, collapse of dynasties, global climate changes... In the Justinianus Plague Outbreak (541-542), one of the biggest plague outbreaks, 40% of the population died. In the Spanish Influenza Epidemic (1918-1920) that emerged during the First World War, 20 million people died. Throughout the world history, it has experienced millions of losses with influenza, plague and cholera epidemics…

In December 2019, humanity met a new virus. The virus, which appeared for the first time in Wuhan, China, quickly crossed the borders, caused a pandemic and began to spread to everyone without discrimination. This new disease is the COVID-19 infection. We are witnessing one of the most important turning points in the world history. This epidemic dramatically changes the way millions of people live around the world, with healthcare professionals' also… Healthcare professionals have taken the heavy burden of the epidemic. According to the data of the Turkish Medical Association, the number of healthcare workers infected with the disease in our country has exceeded three thousand, and 24 healthcare workers have lost their lives until the end of April.

Since the new type of coronavirus epidemic has emerged, epidemiologists, public healthcare professionals, scientists have given great efforts to better understand the virus, its effects and predict what might happen. Numerous studies have been conducted on the pathophysiology, immunology, diagnosis and treatment, causes of death, autopsy procedures, but we still do not know what will happen to us despite the past 6 months.

According to the World Health Organization’s daily reports; on 05/14/2020, there are 144.749 patients in Turkey, and it ranks 9th in the world. Turkish Ministry of Health daily reports give the total number of patients, the number of daily tests, the number of positive patients, the number of recovering patients and the number of death.

Despite daily reports, many questions are still looking for answers; the number of hospitalized patients, the number of PCR test positive patients, the number of PCR test negative but clinically and radiologically positive patients, the number of patients in the service, intensive care units and outpatient treatment, while being treated with the diagnosis of COVID-19 (PCR negative or PCR positive) the number of death, the number of recovering patients, the number of infected healthcare personnel, the comparison of the number of deaths per day based on provinces in last five years, the age and gender of the patients and the deceased, situation in public centers such as warehouse hospitals, nursing homes, prisons, military areas… The answers are certain to make us more prepared for other epidemics that may be encountered in the future.

The COVID-19 epidemic, which affects academic and all social environments, is also on the agenda for forensic medicine and forensic science professionals. In this period, we prepared this special edition in order to share and discuss information. We are here with a wide range of topics ranging from mental health, emergency organization, changing patient’s profile, burial procedures, immunopathology of the virus, wastewater monitoring, domestic violence, violence against women and child abuse in epidemic. I would like to thank all the authors here. Finally, it was presented that ‘Statement of the Ethics Committee of Turkish Medical Association on Disease Outbreaks'. Available also; http://www.ttb.org.tr/635yi1.

The Bulletin of Legal Medicine celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. In its journey that started in 1995, it has become a source of pride in our field as a scientific platform. We hope that it will complete its journey in recent years and will soon be a journal scanned by international indexes. For this, you, the valuable researchers, have an important role in the citation of the published articles.

I congratulate the 25th anniversary of the Bulletin of Legal Medicine. Always in the light of science and always referring to truth, to beauty and to good practice, I wish you healthy days and pleasant reading...

May 30th 2020, Muğla

Section Editor

Ümit Ünüvar Göçeoğlu

Published: May 30, 2020

COVID-19: Understanding a New Disease Through Global Efforts

May 30, 2020
Arzu Akçay, Kubilay Kınoğlu, Ayşe Özgün Şahin

Organization of Emergency Departments and Changing Patient Profile During COVID-19 Outbreak: A University Hospital Experience in Turkey

May 30, 2020
Başak Bayram, İsmail Özgür Can

Covid-19 Infection, Postmortem Process and Burial Procedures

May 30, 2020
Ümit Ünüvar Göçeoğlu, Satuk Buğra Yıldırım, Ecesu Ekinci, Yasemin Balcı

Establishing early warning systems by monitoring COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) in wastewater

COVID-19 in wastewater

May 30, 2020
Nebile Dağlıoğlu, Evşen Yavuz Güzel, Aslı Atasoy

Isolation, Quarantine, Social Distancing and Mental Health

May 30, 2020
Neşe Direk Tecirli, Gizem Ucuz, Fatih Ozel

Domestic Violence During The COVID-19 Pandemic

May 30, 2020
Akça Toprak Ergönen, Emin Biçen, Gökhan Ersoy

COVID-19 Pandemic and Prisoners

May 30, 2020
İsmail Özgür Can, Hediye Aslı Davas, Ümit Biçer

Statement of the Ethics Committee of Turkish Medical Association on Disease Outbreaks

May 30, 2020
Turkish Medical Association Ethical Committee

Evaluation of Child Abuse Cases Affected by COVID-19 Pandemic

May 30, 2020
Fatmagül Aslan, Serdar Timur, Işıl Pakiş