In late 2019 and early 2020, a new virus made its way to the news headlines worldwide. This unknown virus is hazardous and considered deadly. It has claimed thousands of lives and spread at an unprecedented scale. The origins of this virus lay in Wuhan, China. Covid 19 spread from here and then to the rest of the world. It even spread to countries that were as distant as the USA, Italy, or the Philippines.
The scitistis named the virus SARS-CoV-2 officialy. After that, people started addressing the virus as coronavirus. And, the disease that was caused due to it as Covid 19. This virus caused over a million global infections. It even led to hundreds of thousands of deaths. The USA, which is one of the most developed countries in the whole world, is among the most affected countries. They have over 6,000,000 Covid 19 cases that lead to some 192,336 deaths.
This article will entail the following contents,
- What Causes Coronaviruses?
- Some Facts About Coronavirus
- Facts about the Virus: Name and Origin
- Facts about the Virus: Infection
- Facts about the Virus: Transmission and Mortality
- Facts about the Virus: Myths and Popular Beliefs
- Facts about the virus: Prevention
What Causes Coronaviruses?
Coronavirus is a zoonotic virus, which means that they first develop inside animals. And, after a particular stage, it can pass to humans. Usually, people who take care of injected people are at a high risk of getting infected. But, when the virus starts developing inside a person, it becomes a contagious virus.
Covid 19 is an airborne virus. It can spread through respiratory droplets coming out of your mouth or nose. The infection can happen when you cough, sneeze or even talk. The infection spreads through touch. Do not feel your eyes or mouth after touching the virus-laden surface.
There is no definite proof about any particular animal that could have led to this deadly Covid 19 virus. Yet, researchers believe that this virus may have developed in animals at first. Some of these animals include bats, snakes, or pangolins, and then it got transmitted to humans (1).
Some Facts about Coronavirus
The internet is overflowing with wild facts about the coronavirus disease. Some of these facts might be true, while most of them are not. So, we have done some digging and got you some fun and interesting facts.
Facts about the Virus: Name and Origin
- Covid 19 is not the same as SARS-CoV-2. While Covid-19 is the shortened name of the disease, SARA-CoV-2 is the virus’s name. Some scientists also refer to this virus as the novel coronavirus or nCoV. It is because neither the cells of the human body nor the scientists have met this virus before.
- Another short-form generally used for this virus is CoV. The Covid-19 virus is from a family of deadly viruses that have a spinous crest. It makes them all look like solar Corona.
- In simple terms, we can term the coronavirus disease as biological imposters. They imitate the molecule of a substance that can be useful to the body. It deceives the cellular receptors, and they pull the virus molecules inside. Finally, the whole virus gets absorbed into the cell, and the cells end up infected.
- The human immune system has evolved in the last two million years. Yet, it still can’t deal with the new Covid 19 virus. And that’s why it’s so easy to get infected.
- Once the virus enters the cells, it seizes control over it. It forces the cell to produce endless copies of the virus instead of usual proteins. After a while, the body cells die, but the virus keeps multiplying. Any individual who comes in contact with a carrier, at this stage, can also get infected.
Facts about the Virus: Infection
- During the initial stages, the Covid 19 virus reproduces. It spreads out to your throat and respiratory tract. From there, the infection goes downwards, and the virus starts affecting your lungs. It leads to inflammation of your lungs and is the main reason why this disease’s initial symptom is consistent coughing. After this, the body temperature begins to rise, indicating the presence of the virus.
- Yet, there are exceptions, as well. 18% of the infected people did not have any symptoms of cough or fever. It led the scientists to believe that the disease can also spread without any sign or symptom. Thus a patient might become an infected carrier without his knowledge. If the Covid 19 virus proceeds mildly, its symptoms are almost like that of the common flu.
- One common trait shared by almost all Covid-19 patients is the loss of taste or smell. Thus, if you stop tasting the food you eat or smell your surroundings, you should see a doctor.
- According to scientists, the more deadly a virus is, the worse its chances are spreading. But, when the virus kills the host body, it can no longer extend to infect others or mutate into a deadlier form.
- Some people contaminated with the Covid-19 virus do not show immediate signs of it. Thus, such a person can unknowingly become a spreader. They can go around transmitting it to several people at a time. Even when the first signs of infection show up, he might still not know about the actual cause. So, it is essential to get tested.
Facts about the virus: Transmission and Mortality
- According to reports, an infected individual can spread the disease to 2-4 healthy people.
- Like any infection, this virus, too, has super-spreaders. These are the carriers who can infect more than hundreds or thousands of people at a time (2). For example: In South Korea, there was a patient codenamed as “Patient 31”. South Korea had managed to limit the number of infections to 30 people. But she alone infected 1200 more. She was a religious person and continued going to church daily. She continued even after she showed symptoms of cough and fever.
- This disease’s mortality rate depends on the burden upon a country’s health care system. It also depends on how fast it can provide medical care.
- In places like Germany, the mortality rate is only 0.3%. But in the developing or underdeveloped countries, the rates are much higher. Right now, all governmental authorities’ main task is to stretch this epidemic for as long as they can. They have to do it without allowing more people to get infected.
- Sixty-seven days after the first diagnosis, the number of cases went up to 100,000. It turned the disease into a rapidly developing pandemic. Statistics state that the infection affects about one-third of the people worldwide every day. So, it would help if you equipped yourself for a time in the future when the number of infected people can go up to tens of millions. It can lead to hundreds of thousands of deaths.
Facts about the virus: Myths and Popular Beliefs
- There is various information about this virus that scientists do not know. Questions like- Whether the coronavirus disease is dangerous from when a person acquires it or does the virus mutate inside the human body and become more dangerous- are still left unanswered. Many scientists believe that the virus was already present in the animal kingdom for a long time. Hence, the Chinese government ordered the closing of wildlife markets after the outbreak.
- According to an analysis by Nature journal, the SARS-CoV-2 is not a human-made virus. So, it is not developed in some laboratory or meant for targeted manipulation.
- Many people believe that wearing a surgical mask is an effective way. They thought that it would protect them against the virus (3). It is not valid, though. The virus has millions of microscopic particles. As they are so diminutive, they can easily pass through the pores of a surgical mask.
- Whenever an infected person sneezes, spits, or coughs, tiny droplets of saliva come out, the saliva contains billions of this microscopic virus. They pass out of his mouth and spreads into the surrounding area. It can land on both people and objects. This virus can survive on plastic or steel surfaces and remains active for three days (4). So you must be very careful while touching such surfaces. Disinfect the surfaces frequently and adequately.
- Although this is a common belief that coronavirus spreads through pets, it is wrong. There have been no reports of human infection cases resulting from a dog or a cat so far. But, even if you stay in an empty room filled with the virus, then you can get infected too.
Facts about the virus: Prevention
- Prevention is always better than cure. So if you want to prevent the virus from infecting you, then you must wash your hands. Washing the hands after coming back house or after touching any surface is necessary. Also, wash them with soap several times a day, even when you’re at home. It can help you to stay safe (5).
- There is no problem even if you don’t have the opportunity to wash your hands with soap and water. You can use a hand gel antiseptic or a hand sanitizer (alcohol-based) (6). At the very least, you can use chlorhexidine or miramistin. They are excellent disinfectants. They destroy both viruses and bacteria.
- There is no vaccine scope coming in the market anytime soon, at least not before mid-2021. So, it would help if you tried to stay indoors as much as possible. The governments throughout the world are using lockdown and other similar restrictive measures. Self-quarantine is the most robust method of prevention and treatment against the Covid 19 virus.
- Some scientists also believe that, like HIV, a vaccine for this virus may never appear. Right now, there is no one proper method that is effective for all patients. The treatment of the patients depends on their symptoms. But some patients even develop a resistance to this virus all by themselves.
- More than 80% of patients do not need medical help. These patients usually treat themselves at home by taking medications for ordinary flu. They can recover within a week. Approximately 10% of these patients need hospitalization. And, only about 4% need lung ventilation. Older people, or people suffering from heart and lung disease, are at a higher risk.
I bet there are some facts here that you before did not know of. These Covid-19 updates can be surprising at first. But always make sure that you are taking adequate safety measures. Follow the protocols that the government is prescribing. It will help you keep yourself and your family safe in this pandemic.