Everyone needs about Coronavirus effects and trying to know about the virus, What it does to the body?
Coronavirus is not a single virus, it is a family or group of viruses that cause disease in humans ranging from the common cold to pneumonia (generally mild diseases) but it may also cause severe respiratory diseases like SARS and MERS.
They are called Coronavirus because they contain a crown-shaped envelop (Crown in Latin=Corona). In the electron microscope, the spikes which are made up of protein surrounding the virus look like club-shaped forming corona (halo). The genetic material of Coronavirus consists of Ribonucleic acid – RNA.
Below are some of the types of Coronavirus yet discovered and their outbreaks;
- SARS-COV (Severe Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome Coronavirus): This Coronavirus outbreaks in China in 2003.
- MERS-COV (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus): It was first identified in Saudi Arab in the year 2012.
- 2019 n-COV (also called novel coronavirus COVID-19): This is the new strain of Coronavirus in humans. This Coronavirus caused an outbreak in China in December 2019 from the city of Wuhan and it spreads within China and to other countries all over the world. Now W.H.O has announced that we are going through a pandemic of COVID-19 coronavirus (i.e. novel coronavirus-19).
Origin of Coronavirus
COVID-19: Several cases of pneumonia were reported in China in December 2019, which starts spreading from seafood and live animal markets in Wuhan, after investigation, it was found that Coronavirus new strain which had not been previously found in humans causes this disease.
Its animal reservoir is not known yet. This Coronavirus causes Severe Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome as SARS-COV, therefore, W.H.O named this virus as SARS COV-2 or novel coronavirus.
SARS-COV: It is transmitted from dromedary camels to humans and then human to human transmission occurs. It causes Severe Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome.
MERS-COV: In human beings, this Coronavirus is transmitted from civet cats. In contrast with SARS-COV, MERA-COV has high older male predominance and human to human transmission is lower than SARS-COV and it is much more progressive towards respiratory failure than SARS.
How Coronavirus Is Transmitted?
The Coronavirus spreads in 2 ways from human to human:
- By the respiratory way (by droplets)
- By Contact
- Directly: If a person who is suffering from coronavirus infection sneezes or coughs on his/her hands carelessly and then shakes hands with someone else who is healthy. When this healthy person put his hands on face, mouth, nose & eyes, he will be infected.
- Indirectly: If a person infected with coronavirus carelessly sneezes or coughs on his/her hand then put it on different surfaces may be on the tabletop, on the railing of staircases, on a knob of the door, on A.C buttons, on push buttons of the lifts or maybe anywhere. When a healthy person puts his hands on these contaminated surfaces and then puts his hands on eyes, nose & face, this infection will transmit.
- Researches have been found that this novel-corona virus can survive on different surfaces for several hours to days.
READ MORE: Wisdom begins with fear of Coronavirus
How Coronavirus Affects Our Body?
Coronavirus affects our body in the following way:
- When this virus enters our body, it passes through the respiratory passage and enters the lungs & then into the alveoli. Alveoli are respiratory air sacs in the lungs through which gaseous exchange takes place. The virus most likely attaches to the angiotensin-converting enzyme-II (ACE-II) receptors of type II pneumocyte cells of lung alveoli through antigen present on its surface in the form of spikes protein.
- There are 2 types of cells in lining epithelium of lung alveoli i.e. Type I Pneumocytes – which are responsible for gaseous exchange and Type II Pneumocytes – which secretes surfactant that lowers the surface tension within alveoli and reduces its collapsing pressure. After which it invades the cell, it releases its RNA genetic material inside the cell
- which replicates and produces multiple copies of the same virus, which then infects the surrounding cells and causes inflammation of alveoli and bronchioles, due to which elasticity of lungs decreases and function of gaseous exchange of lungs is impaired. Which causes pneumonia and several symptoms like chest pain, difficulty in breathing, runny nose, sore throat, etc.
- When the virus is replicating, you don’t have any symptoms yet and this is called the Incubation period (time range between when you get infected with the virus to the development of the first symptom). In the case of COVID-19, it is 1-14 days according to WHO.
Symptoms of Coronavirus
According to WHO, the most common coronavirus are:
- Dry Cough
- Body Aches
- Chest pain
- Sore Throat
- Blockade of the nasal passage
- Runny nose
All these symptoms appear gradually, and usually mild but severe infections may also occur. Some people might have an infection, but they are asymptomatic i.e. they don’t show any symptoms.
Risk Factors of Coronavirus
As described by the World of Health Organization, the people who are elderly (above 50-60 years of age) are usually at high risk of this COVID-19 infection because as we get older our immune system declines. The rate of infection in young individuals is lower & also in children this infection occurs rarely because they have a stronger immune system.
And the people who are suffering from any kind of heart disease, respiratory diseases (Asthma, Bronchitis, etc.), diabetes & cancer are also at high risk of getting COVID-19 infection.
How Coronavirus Is Cured?
There is no specific antiviral medicine or vaccine available yet, which can kill or cure COVID-19, So Only supportive or symptomatic treatment is given for Coronavirus cure.
Facemask might not be effective against Coronavirus infection. The best way to prevent the spread of infectious illnesses like coronavirus is by washing your hands frequently.
There are 2 types of facemask used;
- Surgical mask – This mask is only loosely attached to your face, nose or chin when you wear it, so there is no evidence that this mask may protect you against coronavirus infection. This mask is only recommended in specific cases. If you have a cough, fever or showing other symptoms, you should wear a mask and consult a doctor. This will prevent the spread of your illness to others. However, if you are healthy but taking care of a person who may be infected with the new coronavirus, then you should wear a mask, wherever you are in the same room with that person. But it also necessary that you should maintain your hand hygiene properly. Do wash your hand with soap or any alcohol hand rub before wearing it or taking it off. Use this mask only once & after using it discard it off properly but don’t use it again.
- N95 respirator mask – A study showed that the N95 mask may help to prevent you against coronavirus and infection but only when combined with frequent hand washing. Because this mask tightly fixes on your face & it blocks 95% of tiny particles including bacteria or viruses World Health Organization do not recommend that the public use them, it is only recommended to healthcare professionals or workers (e.g.; doctor or nurses) or to those who work in the hospitals.
Prevention Is Better Than Cure
World Health Organization advises people that they should take the following precautions:
- If you have any respiratory symptoms (fever, sneeze, cough, etc.) self-isolate yourself at home.
- Should maintain at least a meter or 3 feet distance from people who are sneezing or coughing so you would not get the direct transmission of coronavirus.
- Should wear masks only if you are ill or if you are taking care of such a person who is infected with the coronavirus.
- Health professionals (doctors & nurses) should also wear masks in hospitals with proper precautions.
- A mask should be used only once and after using it, discard the mask immediately in a close bin.
- There is a shortage of masks, so the World Health Organization urges people to use masks wisely.
- Wash your hands thoroughly with soap & water for 20 seconds after every hour or rub your hands with any hand sanitizer which contains 70% of Isopropyl Alcohol.
- When you cough, cover your mouth with the bend of your elbow and use tissues for sneezing & dispose it of properly into the dustbin after use and wash hand properly after sometimes.
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BY: MARIYYAH AHMAD