What is the Corona 19 virus and what should you do? Science YouTube channel Kurzgesagt has released a video explaining Corona 19. According to this, in December 2019, Chinese authorities announced that the virus was prevalent in Korea. The virus spreads outside China for several months, and the number of cases doubles per day. It is the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. The infection caused by this virus is a novel coronavirus infection, Covid-19 (COVID-19; here it is collectively referred to as Corona 19).
Then, what specific symptoms will appear when infected with Corona 19? Some believe that viruses are not even living things because they are just skins containing genetic material and proteins. These viruses infiltrate living cells and multiply.
Corona 19 spreads through the surface of the object, but its lifespan is unknown. However, it is clear that the main route of spread is saliva scattered from coughing of infected people. A person who has touched this saliva is infected with Corona 19 by touching his or her face, such as rubbing his eyes and ears.
Once on the face, Corona 19 enters the body afterwards. The destination of the virus is the large intestine, spleen and lungs, but when it reaches the lungs, it has the most dramatic effect. Care must be taken as only a few corona19 viruses can cause serious symptoms.
Billions of epithelial cells are lined up on the lung surface. Epithelial cells are first infected with the Corona 19 virus, guarding the inner and outer boundaries of the organs in cells that cover the organs and mucous membranes. Corona 19 is surrounded by angiotensin converting enzyme II ACE2 receptor in the epithelial cell membrane and injects genetic material into the cell from there.
Because cells execute new commands to clone and rebuild cells without noticing the virus invading, infected cells can proliferate with Corona 19. Then, when cell death occurs, the corona 19 virus that has proliferated in the cell is released into the body and infected with another cell.
In other words, once infected with Corona 19, the number of infected cells in the body will increase exponentially. In about 10 days of infection, millions of cells become infected with the Corona 19 virus, and the number of viruses in the lungs exceeds billions. At this point, the virus does not cause significant damage.
What matters is the human body’s immune system. The immune system is primarily responsible for protecting the human body, but it has the potential to harm the body. Corona 19 virus, which has increased in the lungs, infects immune cells and because the cells themselves have no eyes or nose, communication between cells is almost done through small information proteins called cytokines. Almost all important immune responses are controlled by cytokines, but immune cells infected with COVID-19 overreact and cause the immune system to attack the body unnecessarily.
There are two immune cells that suffer great damage, one of which is neutrophile. Neutrophils sometimes destroy healthy body cells with excellent killing ability. Enzymes released from neutrophils, which have been done in thousands of units, destroy cells in the body like Corona 19. Another immune cell that causes massive damage in the body is cytotoxic T lymphocytes. Usually, cells that are infected with a virus are ordered to self-destruct, but when infected with a virus, healthy cells are also ordered to self-destruct. Therefore, when immune cells arrive, damage in the body increases and healthy lung tissue is destroyed. In some cases, this damage becomes large and the damage without a repair attempt remains for life and becomes a failure.
In most cases, the immune system is slowly taking control of the infected person’s body. The immune system recovers little by little by destroying infected cells, interfering with viruses that try to infect new infections, and cleaning up cell bodies.
Most of the people infected with Corona 19 only develop relatively mild symptoms such as fever and cough, but there are cases in which they become serious. Since not all cases are specific, the exact rate is not known, but it is clear that the number of severe cases is much higher than that of the flu. In serious cases, millions of epithelial cells die and there is no body tissue protecting the lungs. When this happens, the alveoli are usually infected with harmless bacteria, causing pneumonia. When pneumonia occurs, breathing becomes difficult, and without a ventilator, the patient cannot live.
In the infected person’s body, the immune system fights the virus in the body with full force over several weeks. However, as the number of bacteria in thousands of units multiplies, the immune system becomes difficult. Bacteria are known to spread throughout the body through the blood, leading to a very high death rate for infected people.
Corona 19 infection is often compared to influenza, but it is actually a much more dangerous infection than the flu. It is difficult to calculate the exact mortality rate from the pandemic, but it is clear that Corona 19 infection is more infectious than influenza and the infection rate is faster. There are two cases in which the epidemic of infection is fast or slow. How it spreads depends on how people respond to infection in the early stages of the epidemic. Early cases take many human lives, but late cases are completely forgotten in history. The worst-case scenario of the quick case starts with the rapid spread of the virus without doing anything to slow the infection. In rapid cases, the rapid spread of infection causes many people to contract the disease at the same time. If many people are sick at the same time, the medical system cannot respond to the patient. Resources such as medical staff and ventilators become scarce, and this leads to the death of numerous infected people without proper treatment.
Also, as the number of infections among medical staff increases, the number of patients treated by the medical system decreases further. Then you have to make a terrifying decision about who to save and whom to abandon. To tackle this problem, we need to do what the world can do to slow the epidemic. The epidemic of infection can be moderated with appropriate response, and early response is particularly important. As the epidemic slows, the burden of medical systems and medical resources becomes lighter, and appropriate medical support can be allocated to all infected persons.
As the COVID-19 vaccine does not currently exist, it is necessary to stop the spread by action. The important thing at this time is not to be infected first and not to spread to others. It may be trivial, but hand washing is the best way to counteract COVID-19 infection. Soap is a powerful countermeasure against infection. Corona 19 is accumulated in the fat layer, and it is possible to decompose the fat and take away the possibility of infection with soap. You can also use soap to wash your hands, and the surface of your hands is slippery, so when you wash your hands, you can physically drop the virus.
Another countermeasure is social distancing. Specifically, refraining from hugging or shaking hands leads to social distancing. It is important to refrain from going out, if possible, to reduce the likelihood of getting infected from other people and spreading to others as much as possible before going out. Whether doctors, salespeople, police, and other occupational groups who have to go out for work are infected with Corona 19 depends on how the public wash their hands and keep social distances.
Another large-scale countermeasure is isolation. These include travel restrictions and government restrictions on going out. Isolation is not pleasant, but it can give you time to develop a drug or vaccine. Therefore, if you are an insulator, you need to understand why and follow the rules.