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Biography of the Novel Coronavirus

Biography of the Novel Coronavirus

The document has combined information about the above-mentioned topics, which are collected from various trusted sources; however, readers may find the facts similar to some other sites too.

What is SARS-CoV-2 Virus

The cause of COVID-19 is the Coronavirus. These are a huge, diverse group of the virus, and you cannot see them with your naked eyes; we will need strong microscopes to be able to see them. The term ‘Coronavirus’ refers to a crown. The shape of the virus justifies the meaning. The virus has another layer surrounding it the main body which resembles like a crown.

There are various kinds of coronaviruses, and they infect an ample range of birds and mammals. And some are even the cause of some mild respiratory disease in people, so coronaviruses are not new to the environment. But the virus that causes COVID-19 is.

The cause of the COVID-19 is a virus named ‘SARS coronavirus 2’. This virus firstly originated in Bats; which means that the Bats carry this virus and are infected with this virus all the time. But this virus modified themselves with a special trick. It developed the ability to transfer between species and  infect  people as well. And then it developed another very bewildering trick, to be able to be transmitted between people, and that’s how it came to create the pandemic that we’re experiencing now. So this kind of trick that some coronavirus viruses have also is not new, so this is the third coronavirus that has been examined  since 2002 which has developed these same traits. All of these coronaviruses also originated in bats and now can infect people and also can spread from person to person.

  • So the first virus of these types was called Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or SARS coronavirus, this was the first SARS coronavirus which emerged in Guangdong, China in
  • The next virus that developed this trick was the Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus or MERS which emerged in the Middle East in 2012 and still causes human infections and small outbreaks in that
  • At the end of 2019, SARS coronavirus two emerged in Wuhan, China which was the most recent virus which developed the same trait. And as the virus is similar to the first SARS coronavirus, it was named SARS coronavirus

Viruses need to live in other cells, and then they multiply in those cells and go on to infect other cells in the body

 

Natural history of SARS-Coronavirus-2

Ü What are the effects of SARS CoV 2 infection?

The disease, ‘COVID-19’ is unusual; a wide range of signs and symptoms can be observed due to this disease. This huge variety of signs and symptoms makes it difficult to classify. People may observe an illness which is known as COVID-19; however, not all who have got the infection are sick, some people may not show any signs and symptoms as well.

Some people may get infected by the virus but will never know. These people are called Asymptomatic; who may not develop any signs or symptoms but can infect others unknowingly.

Most people do develop signs and symptoms. But before elaborating on the various   signs   and   symptoms,   let   us   know   what   these   words   mean.

Signs of a disease are the physical measurements which are performed to understand a particular disease during the physical tests. For example, the body temperature which is a sign for an illness, or the breathing rate as we can measure the number of times you are breathing per minute.

Symptoms are not something  which can be physically examined. We mostly describe symptoms by seeing how the patient is feeling. For example, tiredness is a symptom; when we  are ill, our body gets tired. A loss of taste and smell is another example of symptoms, as it is also a feeling.

Fever can be a sign and also a symptom as it the temperature can be recorded by someone else but you can feel it as well

Certain people develop a slight illness, but it is very light. They do not need to seek any medication. It may feel just a slight headache, or a very ignorable fever or some  light  respiratory illness.  Other  people  may need  very serious  help  as

they can feel very sick, and can also be the cause of death in some person who develops some severe diseases.

There are many signs and symptoms of COVID-19 which include people developing a fever, getting fatigued, or having chills. Some will have muscle pain, some will experience cough. Many people link COVID-19 with some sort of respiratory disease, but not all people infected with COVID-19 suffer from coughing.

  • People infected with COVID-19 also claim that they have lost their ability to smell and
  • Some face difficulties while breathing and feel as if they are short of breath, which is a serious symptom of this
  • Some may also have a headache or a sore throat.

 

Note that people may have any of these common signs or symptoms, few of these or all of these signs and symptoms. So there is no accurate way to define COVID-19. We should know all the possible signs and symptoms one may have.

Some signs and symptoms  may also be similar to some different diseases as  well which are non-specific. So these signs and symptoms may be obverted in other illnesses too. For example, fever, cough, muscle aches are  common  among people and it is difficult to anticipate if one has been infected with the   virus or not, without a proper test.

There are some signs and symptoms which are more specific to COVID-19. One is the loss of smell and taste by the patient, which is very rare in other kinds of infection. There are some signs and symptoms which shows the case is getting worsen and the patient is severely infected. People should immediately consult a doctor when they experience something of that sort, for example, a very high  fever or an increasing breathing problem.

Patients need to quickly seek medical emergency if they experience some kind of warning signs and symptoms like bluish lips or face, which means that they are facing difficulty while breathing; resulting to decrease in the level of oxygen in their body. These people feel that they are not getting enough air in, even if they are breathing much faster compared to their usual rate. Chest pain while breathing is also a serious symptom and needs instant care. Anyone who

experiences some new confusion, or they are confused about events, or people and surroundings, or what’s happening, or they are facing difficulties to wake up, should seek instant emergency care. All of these are  signs that the  patient is not getting enough flow of oxygen in their body, which is a very serious condition. And they should seek urgent care as soon as possible.

Congestion in the lungs is one of the ways that COVID-19 causes extreme disease or death. Our lungs are the means of getting oxygen into our body. And   if the lungs do not function properly, we will not get enough flow of oxygen.

Ü The incubation period of SARS-CoV-2

The time from when someone is infected until they develop symptoms is known  as the incubation period. Usually, this involves a few numbers of days. So the incubation period for SARS-CoV ranges between 2 to 14 days. Most of the people infected with this virus, develop signs and symptoms between 2 to 14  days after they’re infected.

  • 5% of all people who are infected with this virus will develop signs or symptoms within two days. So it can be very
  • And 50% of people infected with the virus, will develop signs and symptoms within five days. So 1/2 of everyone infected will develop signs and symptoms just five days after infection,
  • 95% of all people who are infected will have developed signs or symptoms by 14

 

Ü What is the infectious period

The time at which someone infected with SARS-Coronavirus-2 can transmit the virus to other people is called the infectious period. For people who have been infected with COVID-19 disease, their infectious period starts two days before they show their signs and symptoms. And they could infect other people throughout they are cured of the illness.

We define the end of their infectious period as being at least 10 days after the start of their illness. And as long as their symptoms are improving, and they have not had a fever for the past three days, we could assume that they are no longer infected with the virus. However it is a bit tricky to identify exactly when the end of the infectious period is, but these are some of the common markers that we use to identify when someone is no longer infectious.

Asymptomatic people who are infected with SARS-CoV-2 but may never develop any kind of symptoms are equally infectious. For people like these, it is more difficult to determine their infectious period. It’s more difficult to define when they could infect some other people. But, typically, we assume that the period will be about 10 to 14 days, and we should assume  that it  started before they had taken a test which showed that they were infected, and will  last for at least 10 days after the test.

Note that people can infect others before they become fall sick before they have the idea that they’re sick, and strongly on the day that they’re sick. And they can continue to be infecting others and transmit the virus throughout their illness period, as long as that illness period lasts. So that’s going to vary from person to person, but we’ll take to be a very minimum of ten days.

 

Ü Variation in the stages of risk for COVID-19

Not all people who have COVID-19 are at the same level as the risk.

  • People who are most likely to get the severe disease when they get infected by COVID-19 are people who are more than the age of 65. So, the risk factor increases, as the age
  • Obese people are also at the top of the chart among the people at
  • This does not mean that only aged people or people with obesity, or any chronic disease suffer from severe illness due to the

Sometimes, very healthy people or someone fit and young can also get severely ill. But it is rare and a very small percentage of infection.

  • Children have the least chance of getting severely ill but the statement is not always

People suffering from diabetes, hypertension, or any kind of lung disease such as emphysema or asthma or COPD which is also known as a chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder are also at high risk of danger

  • People with any kinds of problems related to heart, kidney or in the liver are also considered to be in threat to get severely
  • People with weak immune system lack the power to fight the virus and has the chance to infect them severely.

 

Ü Death due to COVID-19

How can COVID-19 be the cause of death?

  • If someone has a problem in their lungs and those cannot recover, then the patients lose their ability to breathe properly on their
  • This will cause damage to all the other organs in the body. The reduction of oxygen flow in the body may result in heart attacks, strokes, kidney failure or any other clotting
  • People who cannot seek help as soon as possible, when they are infected; they are at a very higher risk of
  • Death due to COVID-19 is rarely observed among younger people. However, may
  • Death is mostly noticed among older people who are also suffering from some other chronic

Note that it is important to help this group of people more and more and keep them aware of the fact that they might get infected. And also help them to build a strong immune system and guide them know about the precautions they should take.

Treatment for SARS-CoV-2

Till now, there is no particular medication for COVID-19. For  now, the treatment  is to support the immune system of a patients’ body, until and unless the immune system is ready to fight the virus. However, people with lungs diseases need  extra support and care to cope with the inability to breathe in their usual way. They should be given instant medical support and ventilations to help them to breathe at their usual rate.

 

There is no particular treatment for COVID-19 till date. As like other  viral  infection, the treatment for mild symptoms with COVID-19, is mainly supportive treatment – like Paracetamol, lots of fluid, rest, vitamin C to boost up immune system. They can be treated at home. As it a viral disease antibiotic (which is mainly use for bacterial infection) is rarely necessary.

But people with other chronic diseases like lung disease, heart disease, diabetes, immunodeficiency, elderly (over 70), needs extra care and support as they can deteriorate quickly with Covid-19 infection.

For them treatment in hospital is required to support their breathing, to monitor their lung function and other organ function carefully. People infected with Covid-

19 without any other diseases also can deteriorate any time while  they  are having treatment at home. Then they should be transferred to  hospital as soon  as possible.

How to diagnose COVID-19?

There are 2 laboratory tests available to diagnose COVID-19.

One of them is called the RT-PCR test, where RT-PCR stands for a polymerase chain reaction. This is a diagnostic test which helps to identify the virus in someone’s body. The test also has another name, Molecular test. People opt for the RT-PCR test when they have an active infection, people who have active signs and symptoms of COVID-19. The test identifies the RNA also known as the genetic material of the virus. This provides information if the virus is present and multiplying itself in one’s body or not. For performing the RT-PCR test, a sample of swab is collected either from the mouth, nose or the throat as these are the parts of our respiratory system because that is the region where the virus reproduce and replicate itself. If the RT-PCR test is positive that means that the person is infected with COVID-19 as the traces of the virus was found in the sample during the test.

The other available test is known as the antibody test which checks if the antibodies to the virus are present or not in our blood. Antibodies fight with the viruses and bacteria and are produced by our immune system. So, this test helps us find specific antibodies to the virus in one’s blood. An antibody called IgG antibodies starts to develop when someone suffers from illness but they are

mostly found after the recovery of the illness. The IgG antibody test is used to perform to check if any person had been infected with the virus in the past or not. Usually, the antibodies are built after 10 to 14 day since we are ill but can be found only after we are recovered. So this test is opted by people who have already recovered from COVID-19 or the asymptomatic people who want to know if they were infected or not. A positive antibody test only says that a person was infected with the virus but cannot clearly state the date when they were infected. So, this means that if someone has IgG antibodies on their blood, they have protection from being infected by SARS Coronavirus in the future. However, they may not know how effective it is or the duration of the protection to last.

We also need to keep in mind that no tests always give accurate results. In spite of all the efforts, the test results can be unsatisfactory and can have the wrong information.

How does the SARS-CoV-2 transmit from one to another?

There are two main ways in which the COVID-19 can transmit among people.

As we know that the virus reproduces and replicate them in one’s respiratory  tract, the main origin of the transmission is the respiratory tract, mouth, nose or the throat. When we laugh, talk sneeze, cough, shout, while even singing, there are small water droplets which come out of our mouth or nose. We sometimes notice it and sometimes we do not see them. These droplets float on the air around you and also travel by air. And if the droplets came out of any patient who is COVID-19 positive, then along with the small droplets, the virus is also attached, which are very dangerous. If by any chance, those droplets come in contact with the face, nose, mouth or the eyes of a healthy person, then that person can also get infected with the virus. This is also known as the direct transmission of the disease.

Another way that a healthy person can get infected is by indirect transmission. The virus attached with the tiny droplets in the air can also land on other surfaces too. When an infectious person releases those droplets to the  surroundings, those droplets can contaminate the places which will come in contact with the

droplets. So if we touch a place which is already infected with the virus and then touch our face, mouth, nose, or eyes, we may also get infected with the  virus. The infectious droplets can travel a long distance and also has a very long lifespan too.

This is the reason why we should always cover our mouth when we sneeze or cough and also use a mask to protect ourselves, along with always washing our hands or sanitizing them.

The transmission among people is very difficult to trace if we do not know who spreads the virus. People who are infected with COVID-19 can infect others before they develop symptoms. Some people never show any symptoms but continue to infect others unknowingly. We need to examine the infected people who show signs and symptoms and also contact those people who had come in contact with the symptomatic person. This will help in lowering the number of spreading of the disease.

Transmission is more likely to happen by physical contacts; if someone is physically around an infected person, then the person is also more likely to have the traces of the virus. People who are within the 6ft for more than 15 minutes of an infectious person, then they are in a threat to get infected too. The distance is set to 6ft because the infected droplets can travel up to 6ft and 15 is the minimal time to come in contact with those tiny droplets. People sharing the same surrounding are also in the danger of getting infected by the virus as they may come in contact with the droplets. Someone who may share food with an infected person may also develop signs and symptoms of the virus.

Transmission is possible in any way if one is in close contact or physical contact with any COVID-19 patient. There are some other living conditions too which increases the risks of transmission of the virus. People living together in a public place may get quickly ill if they come in contact with any patients. Places like dormitories, prisons and jails, shelters, or group homes may have a high chance of transmission if they have any infected patients. There are other places too like the nursing home which involves a close environment and also physically active environment as it involves the same accommodation. Places like old age home are at a very high risk as one of the risk factors is the age and this also involves close and physical contact.

 

By Sudipta Das Dip

AS Level, Gems Akademia International School

 

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