Don't Let Your Guard Down : COVID -19 Is Still A Threat

Don't Let Your Guard Down : COVID -19 Is Still A Threat

SARS-CoV-2, also known as the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, first surfaced in late 2019 in Wuhan, China. It is a highly contagious respiratory virus. It belongs to the same coronavirus family as the viruses that cause MERS...

SARS-CoV-2, also known as the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, first surfaced in late 2019 in Wuhan, China. It is a highly contagious respiratory virus. It belongs to the same coronavirus family as the viruses that cause MERS and SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome).

Respiratory droplets are created by talking, coughing, or sneezing, which is primarily how SARS-CoV-2 is spread.

Since then, SARS-CoV-2 has spread around the world, causing millions of confirmed cases and fatalities. Governments and public health officials have implemented several measures, including social exclusion, mask wear, and vaccination efforts, to stop the virus's spread.

Uncovering The Code: How The Genetics Of SARS-CoV-2 Shape The Virus

The single-stranded RNA virus known as SARS-CoV-2 is a member of the family Coronaviridae's Betacoronavirus genus. The SARS-CoV-2 viral genome is around 30 kilobases long, making it longer than other RNA viruses like influenza and HIV.

The spike protein, membrane protein, envelope protein, and nucleocapsid protein, among others, are all encoded in the SARS-CoV-2 genome. The spike protein is particularly crucial for the virus because it binds to the ACE2 receptor on the surface of human cells, enabling the virus to enter host cells.

As an RNA virus, SARS-CoV-2 has a rapid capacity for mutation. The viral genome can duplicate incorrectly during viral replication, resulting in genetic alterations or mutations.

When SARS-CoV-2 first appeared, a large number of variations have been found; some of these have caused more rapid disease spread or more severe illness. For instance, compared to the original strain of SARS-CoV-2, the Delta variant (B.1.617.2) has been proven to be more contagious, and the Beta variant (B.1.351) seems to be more resistant to various vaccines.

To comprehend the genetics of SARS-CoV-2 and develop therapies or vaccinations, researchers are still researching the virus' behavior and transmission.

What Is The Life Cycle Of This Virus?

The virus attaches to and enters a host cell to start the SARS-CoV-2 life cycle, which concludes with the creation and discharge of additional virus particles. The stages of the SARS-CoV-2 life cycle are briefly outlined below:

Attachment: The ACE2 receptor on the surface of human cells attaches to the spike protein on the virus's surface.

Entry: The virus's membrane must be fused with the host cell's membrane for it to release its RNA genome into the cell.

Replication: The viral RNA is released once it has entered the host cell and acts as a template for the replication of the viral genome as well as the creation of viral proteins.

Assembly: Genomic RNA and viral proteins are combined inside the host cell to create new virus particles.

Release: The new virus particles are expelled from the host cell through budding, which involves the virus wrapping itself in a portion of the membrane as it flees.

Infection: Following the initial release of virus particles, the cycle may be repeated by the virus infecting more cells.

Airborne Enemy: The Science Behind The Transmission Of Sars Cov2.

The COVID-19-causing virus, SARS-CoV-2, can spread via several pathways, including respiratory droplets, airborne particles, and contact with infected surfaces. Below is a quick explanation of these transmission routes:

Respiratory droplets: An infected individual can release respiratory droplets that are contaminated with the virus when they talk, cough, or sneeze. Physical separation of at least 6 feet is advised to lessen the risk of transmission because these droplets are relatively large and have a tendency to fall to the ground or other surfaces within a few feet of the individual.

Aerosols: Aerosols are smaller, airborne particles that can carry viruses and hang about in the atmosphere for a longer amount of time. When an infected person speaks, sings, or breathes, they can release these aerosols, which can be carried by air currents and move farther than respiratory droplets.

Contact with contaminated surfaces: The virus can also be caught by touching a surface that has been exposed to it and then feeling the mouth, nose, or eyes. Although the virus can occasionally survive on surfaces, it is believed that respiratory transmission is the more frequent method of infection.

What Can Be The Signs And Symptoms?

COVID-19 symptoms might differ from person to person, but frequently include:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

In severe situations, COVID-19 can cause organ failure, pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), and other potentially fatal conditions. Severe COVID-19 symptoms could include:

  • Severe difficulty breathing (shortness of breath even at rest)
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • Confusion or inability to arouse
  • Bluish lips or face

What Can Be The Diagnostic Criteria?

The following are a few of the most popular diagnostic exams:

PCR: Test for SARS-CoV-2 using polymerase chain reaction (PCR): This is the most popular test. It entails taking a sample using a swab from the nose or throat, which is subsequently sent to a lab for examination. The test looks for the genetic makeup of the virus, which may reveal an ongoing infection.

Antigen test: Similar to the PCR test, the antigen test looks for particular proteins on the virus's surface rather than the virus' genetic material. Compared to the PCR test, it can yield results more quickly, but it is typically less reliable.

Test for antibodies: This procedure looks for antibodies in the blood that the body has created in response to a virus. It cannot identify a present infection, but it can show whether someone has already been exposed to the virus.

Imaging testing: In extreme cases, imaging tests like computed tomography (CT) scans or chest X-rays may be utilized to determine the degree of lung damage brought on by COVID-19.

What Can Be The Treatment?

The following are some of the most typical COVID-19 treatments:

Symptom management: Therapy for COVID-19 typically consists of controlling the symptoms, which can be minor to severe. In more severe circumstances, oxygen therapy, cough suppressants, and painkillers may be used.

Antiviral drugs: Several antiviral drugs, including Redeliver, have been approved for use in treating COVID-19 in the event of an emergency. These drugs shorten the duration of the disease and lessen the severity of symptoms by preventing the virus's capacity to multiply.

Immunomodulatory medications: In some circumstances, COVID-19 can cause an excessive immunological response that results in serious organ damage and inflammation. Tocilizumab or other immunomodulatory medications like steroids may be used to tame this immune response and lower the likelihood of problems.

Monoclonal antibodies: Monoclonal antibodies are synthetic proteins that can imitate the immune system's capacity to combat viruses. Those with COVID-19 who are at a high risk of becoming ill can receive these antibodies, which may help slow the spread of the illness.

Vaccines: Vaccines to prevent COVID-19 have been created and are approved for use in emergencies. When it comes to preventing infection and lessening the severity of illness in individuals who do contract the disease, these vaccines have been proven to be very successful.

Mask up and save lives: Stop the spread of COVID-19