The medical world continues to investigate violent coronavirus, which has become one of humanity’s most infectious viruses.
Just weeks after the spread of the pandemic in the world, and infectious 126,380 people, scientists have been able to learn quite a bit about the virus. They crack its structure and understand how it penetrates the human body and causes severe morbidity.
The new coronavirus, called COVID-19, is the seventh in the coronavirus family. The SARS virus also belongs to the Corona family, causing a global epidemic in 2003 and 2004. COVID-19, like others, has a crown of spider-like proteins around it, which is the key to easily penetrate human body cells.
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What is the difference between epidemic and pandemic?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a pandemic is the worldwide spread of a new disease.
According to David Jones, MD, PhD, a professor of the culture of medicine at Harvard University says: “A pandemic is when an epidemic spreads between countries,”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the terms are as follow:
- Sporadic: When a disease occurs infrequently and irregularly.
- Endemic: A constant presence and/or usual prevalence of a disease or infection within a geographic area. (Hyperendemic, is a situation in which there are persistent, high levels of disease occurrence.)
- Epidemic: A sudden increase in the number of cases of a disease—more than what’s typically expected for the population in that area.
- Pandemic: An epidemic that has spread over several countries or continents, affecting a large number of people.
Unlike bacteria, which have their own lives, viruses cannot live outside a living cell. To reproduce, they must penetrate a living cell, take over the hereditary charge, “steal” it and replicate themselves to infect more cells.
So does the new Coronavirus.
Using the same “spikes” in the outer mantle, the coronaviruses attach to receptors located on the respiratory tract cells, called ACE-2. This adherence transmits the coronavirus to stage two, where additional envelope proteins dissolve the human cell envelope, and thus the virus penetrates into the nucleus of the cell, replicating itself with the human cell’s inherited DNA – charge.
However, the coronavirus does not always work well: many people infected with the virus will not develop symptoms at all. The virus will be found in their bodies, but the immune system will be able to destroy it
In others, the virus will cause a very mild illness that will probably lead to fever. In this situation, the body raises the temperature to lead to an uncomfortable environment for coronavirus activity, injecting white blood cells that destroy the virus.
If the virus has been able to penetrate the respiratory tract cells, ןt will begin to multiply and infect more cells quickly, creating a condition called “immune storm.”
In this condition, the body sends huge amounts of white blood cells to the viruses that are scavenging, destroying them, while also destroying healthy lung cells. This condition is known as pneumonia in which some coronavirus patients suffer from.
In some cases, the disease becomes very turbulent. More coronaviruses are rapidly replicating, and the immune system is unable to cope with them. Lung cells are rapidly damaged one by one, until lung failure. These patients attach to artificial ventilator machines.
The virus can also spread to the bloodstream, where it can cause sepsis – a general infection leading to hypertension – and subsequently to cardiac stroke and death.
Around the world, about 100 trials are being conducted on drugs that try to cope with various mechanisms of the virus, most notably those that allow it to penetrate the human body.
Some drugs try to reduce the inflammatory process, others work to prevent the virus from clinging to the cell through receptors, or preventing its replication. In some cases, positive results were obtained leading to a reduction in patients’ recovery time and a decrease in the viral load of the virus.
What is the possibility of finding a complete cure for corona disease? If the virus does not develop rapid genetic changes (mutations), scientists estimate that within a few months, a drug that effectively prevents the virus will be found and will cure the patients. A number of companies have already started developing vaccines, but this is a long process, which will only end in a year.