COVID 19 General Overview

Kate Porcello

What It Is

Unless you live under a rock, you have probably heard about the Coronavirus. (Even if you did, it would be hard to miss all of the events that have occurred as a result of the spread of COVID 19). Although general information of how to combat the virus has been widespread, many facts have been lost along the way. Coronaviruses are categorized as a

Microscopic view of Coronavirus, a pathogen that attacks the respiratory tract. Analysis and test, experimentation. Sars

large group of viruses that can be found in humans as well as animals. It is uncommon for these illnesses to infect people, although it has happened with the SARS virus (SARS-CoV) and most recently the Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2).


How It Works

The “coronavirus disease 2019,” abbreviated to COVID 19, is one of the six types of coronavirus known to affect humans. It is named for the spikes protruding from the virus’ surface, almost resembling a crown. The virus acts by entering the body and attaching itself to cells producing the protein ACE2. The virus then binds it’s membrane to the membrane of the healthy cell, proceeding to release a piece of RNA into the cell. From there, the now infected cell reads the viral RNA and begins to create proteins that keep the immune system at bay while the virus spreads throughout the body. 


Where It Came From

Researchers are almost certain that COVID 19 originated in Wuhan, a city in the province of Hubei, China. Similar to the SARS virus in 2003, Scientists of the Shanghai Public Health Clinical Centre believe that the Coronavirus was transmitted to humans at a live animal market through an intermediary species such as a bat or pangolin. The first known case has been traced to as early as November 17, 2019. By December 27, 2019, over 180 citizens in Hubei province had been infected. Finally on January 23, 2020 the Chinese government ordered a lockdown in Wuhan, as well as other cities. The lockdown is said to have saved about 77,000 lives, although it did not stop the virus from spreading to other countries. As of March 22, 322,000 cases and over 13,000 deaths have been reported globally.



The Importance of Practicing Good Hygiene

For obvious reasons, it is critical that we all practice proper hygiene during the next few months to slow and hopefully stop the spread of the virus. It is also important to note that the virus itself is encased in lipid molecules that fall apart when they come into contact with soap. The hydrophobic tails of soap molecules insert themselves into the lipid membrane, opening up the membrane and ultimately destroying the virus. This further acts as reason to wash your hands properly and thoroughly. The virus also spreads when an infected patient coughs or sneezes, sending droplets that are laden with the virus onto the surfaces and also people they are closest to. The virus can live on those surfaces and remain infectious anywhere from several hours to several days making it important to socially distance yourself from others, and be conscious of potential exposure to the virus.