The coronavirus is not a new virus. It is in fact a large family of viruses that has been studied for some decades. Corona viruses cause a range of illnesses from the common cold to serious diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV), Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV) and recently Covid-19.
The Covid-19 happens to be a new strain (which has undergone mutation over time) discovered in 2019 and has not been previously identified in humans.
Scientists have discovered how the covid-19 gain entrance into our respiratory cells after binding to it. The lung cells happen to be it’s target cells. This awareness is a significant step in fighting the virus.
In studying this strain of coronavirus, one key step is to know how they gain entrance into a living cell. Usually, the viruses possess a protein key which fits into the host’s cell membrane which acts like a keyhole. Thereby gaining entrance into the lung cells.
Once the nature of the protein key is determined, then a drug to block the key can be made thereby stopping the virus from getting into the cell. This very stage is easier said than done.
Since viruses are strands of genetic materials wrapped up in protein and lipids, which is why ordinary soap and sanitizers are very effective in destroying them. Soap molecules destroy their protein and lipid body.
A virus can only be said to be alive in a living cell. So once inside a the lung cells, they immediately come life hijacking the cells genetic materials and commanding them to create offspring viruses with the inevitable death of the cell.
Since scientists are aware of these facts, so why can’t they make drugs and destroy these bugs? Like earlier mentioned, it is easier said than done. According to Diane Griffin, a professor of microbiology and immunology at the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University, “Bacteria are very different from us, so there’s a lot of different targets for drugs. But viruses replicate in cells, so they use a lot of the same mechanisms that our cells do. So it’s been harder to find drugs that target the virus but don’t damage the cell as well.”
In order words, a drug that will off the virus and not kill off our lung cells is the great complication scientists are battling with.
Let’s clarify some myths about the coronavirus.
1. Hot weather will not stop an area from being infected by the coronavirus. Hot weather may just slow down the infection rate. Places like Saudi Arabia and Iraq are tropical and already have serious cases of the infection.
2. There is no evidence that the covid-19 is man made.
3. Contacting covid-19 is not a death sentence. Over 80% of infected people with healthy immune system do recover. Older people and children with low immunity are more prone to severe infections.