Battling against CoVID-19 (Biology behind the ‘CoronaVirus’)

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Hey, Reader! Thanks for checking out this article and investing your productive time. Without wasting any moment, let us dive into this topic. 

We already aware of CoronaVirusDisease-19 (CoVID-19) which is sending panic waves across the globe, and I hope you knew all the precautionary measures to fight against it. It is not as deadly as they say, and more than 50% of the victims survived within weeks. So, What is this Corona Virus?

‘CoronaViridae’ is a family of viruses that causes diseases in mammals and birds. (‘SARS’ also comes under this category). When humans came into contact with this Virus-infected organisms, there is a possibility of transmission and thats what happened here. Viruses are exciting creatures because we all know every living being in this world made up of cells. However, Viruses are infectious agents (much smaller than cells) still, they do have the ability to replicate in living cells of our body. How do they do that? You will get to know very soon. 

The Virus will get access to your body when you come in contact with it either through 

1) an infected person’s cough or sneeze or

2) physical contact with an infected person or

3) physically touching the surface that the Virus is on and then touching your nose or mouth (This is why washing hands after every activity is necessary).

Once it enters into our body, its work can begin. So, what happens to your body after this monster enters? How’s your body going to react to it? Before going in detail- you need to know the basic structure and functionalities of a ‘Cell’. (A little Biology lecture ahead! I might sound geeky but don’t worry, I will explain in laymen’s language). 

‘Cell’ is the smallest unit of life, and basically, we all made up of these teeny-tiny creatures. Forty trillion cells in our human body is an estimate. There’s a lot of stuff going on in a cell, but what we need to know here is this. Every cell has a nucleus, and inside nucleus we have DNA. In DNA, we have genetic information encoded. This original information is stored safely, but the copy of genetic information sent to Ribosomes (another component of a cell) through a messenger and Ribosomes will decode this information; it will make the necessary protein and sent it across the body. This is the critical mechanism to function our body correctly. Remember the last two sentences! That’s all you need to know about the cell for now. (Thank God it ended! Biology is annoying, isn’t it?) – Video explanation for this version will be great, but I am lazy! 

So, A Virus looks like this. This outer layer of Virus is essential for what is going to happen next.

  

 PAY ATTENTION!

Once Virus enters our body, it will search for cells which have easy access for it to enter. This outer layer of Virus will come in contact with the outer layer of the cell to test that access. Once it got access – BUSTED! Damage is done. The virus will have TOTAL control over our cell. Remember the biology lecture a few moments ago? A cell is having DNA and the information inside it sent to Ribosomes, right?

In the same way, Virus also has its DNA or RNA component (In case of corona its RNA) and genetic information inside it. This genetic information is the key to replicate and multiply the viruses and it is enough to do the damage. Virus work is to hijacks our cell’s DNA, and instead of sending our DNA information to Ribosomes, Virus will send its RNA information. Poor Ribosomes will not know about this trap and will prepare protein material based on the genetic information inside virus RNA. Without even realising, they are developing viruses! Once Ribosomes started this process, it will recreate millions of viruses, and the cell slowly expands in this process and bursts. This millions of viruses will go all over the body, slowly destroying every cell. This is how it replicates (Answer to the question in 2nd paragraph)

Our body will not know about this terrorist attack immediately, and it may take nearly 2-14 days to realise something is wrong (that is why it might take around 14 days to identify coronavirus in our body after it entered). In a healthy immune system, our body identifies this foreign agent very soon, and it declares war! The immune system in our body is so complex, as it uses various strategies to control the Virus. Your body temperature increases which help immune system function better and also it is uncomfortable for Virus to live (That’s why you get fever in the case of coronavirus, your body is fighting a war – appreciate the effort!). It creates Snot and Phlegm in the nose which makes difficult for Virus to attach to your cells due to its thickness (It’s for our good, sneeze the phlegm out!). You may feel weak and tired as your body keep on fighting this Virus on priority instead of doing regular day to day activities. 

In this process, your body starts making antibodies. Your DNA creates these antibodies and the genetic information inside this helps to build different defence systems. (This is why sending the right DNA Information to Ribosomes is important) Our body will produce millions of these antibodies in a brilliant manner and Virus will have no clue about this war strategy, and ultimately it surrenders. Yay! Corona cured! (It’s not as dangerous as you thought, huh?) Healthy immune systems will fight the Virus, but people have compromised immune systems, and older people (Low Immune power) will suffer in this huge chaotic process. Virus already started killing cells way before our body realises, as it is already late, in a desperate attempt to save you, your immune system sometimes go over-drive. In severe cases, White blood cells release various chemicals in this process which can cause leakage of fluids in your lungs, and it causes breathing problems, suffocation and ultimately to organ failure. In weak immune systems, bacteria can take advantage of this situation and makes it worse. Slowly organs begin to shut down and eventually our body also shuts down. (The reason why older adults die in a large number due to coronavirus). 

The fatality rate is just between 2-3% which may increase later where the SARS Coronavirus rate is 10% and for Ebola its around 50%. This information might seem too technical for many people, but once you get to know this, you will realise what type of changes and struggles your body is going through. 

That’s it for now! Sorry for troubling your brain with too much of explanation! I hope this helps and clarifies a few of your doubts! 

Wash your hands regularly and avoid large gatherings! (No medicines for Virus and vaccine might take around 12-18 months from now to be available in public!) 

With that note, Yeshwanth Prabhala—Singing off! BE SAFE!