A coronavirus is not a single genome but a group of viruses that affects humans. They come under four subgroups called alpha, beta, gamma, and delta.
These can affect both humans and animals. The human coronavirus was first discovered in the 1960s. After that, there have been a total of 6 human coronaviruses that infected humans at different periods of time. These are
229E (alpha coronavirus)
NL63 (alpha coronavirus)
OC43 (beta coronavirus)
HKU1 (beta coronavirus)
SARS-CoV-2 (novel coronavirus or COVID-19)
What Is the Origin of the Novel Coronavirus?
The novel SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus originated from Wuhan, China last year. The relation between the animal-corona- human is well explained. It is found that a virus that infects animals like bats and rodents can evolve and become a new coronavirus with more potency. This was the case with Mers, sars, and COVID-19. Coronavirus is Zoonotic which means they can be transmitted between animals and humans.
How Does It Affect Humans?
The SARS CoV-2 spike protein has evolved to target a molecular base on the human cells called ACE2 receptor which takes part in the regulation of blood pressure. Humans are a natural and perfect host to the novel coronavirus. This can affect your lungs and airways.
Symptoms of Corona Disease
Symptoms like cough, fever, and difficulty in breathing due to severe respiratory illness
Other symptoms may include
- Runny nose
- Sore throat
Symptoms That Warrant Medical Emergency
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- Confusion or inability to arouse
- Bluish lips or face
Complications of Coronavirus
- Pneumonia in both lungs
- Organ failure (several organs in the body)
How to Prevent Corona Infection?
If not treated on time it can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure, and even death. Follow these precautionary methods to reduce the risk of corona infection
- Wash your hands regularly
- Cover your mouth when coughing and sneezing
- Avoid eating raw or undercooked meat or animal organs.
- Cook animal foods thoroughly before eating
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
- Avoid contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness.
- Avoid using public transportation
- Avoid crowds
- Use a disinfectant spray on the surfaces you touch frequently
- Use a professional tight-fitting face mask (N95) if you think or found you are infected
- Avoid traveling overseas unless your profession requires doing so
There are new cases of coronavirus reported every day all over the world. So far, (while the article was written) there have been around 2 Lac confirmed cases of coronavirus among which around 80,000 people have successfully recovered and the rest of them succumbed to the disease. Also, it is said that the virus can cause irreversible damage to the immune system even after fully recovered. It is the prime time to focus on prevention.