Some Facts About The Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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In a bid to understanding more about the coronavirus, here are some interesting and useful facts about coronavirus you should know.

Fact 1. Covid-19 and SARS-CoV-2 are not the same thing. Covid-19 is a disease (D stands for disease) caused by a new coronavirus. SARS-CoV-2 is the name of the virus itself.

Fact 2. CoV is short for CoronaVirus, Coronavirus. This is the name of the family of viruses (there are about 40 of them), which bear resemblance with the solar corona due to the spinous crests.

Fact 3. Coronaviruses are impostors from biology. The tailpiece of each spike “imitates” the molecule of a useful substance, so that the cellular receptors gladly pull it into themselves, and the whole virus is squeezed into the cell after the spike is in. This is how infection occurs.

Fact 4. The term “new coronavirus” (novel or nCoV) means that before neither scientists nor the cells met this virus before.

Fact 5. Over 2 million years of evolution, our immune system has learned to deal with most known infections, but the new coronavirus catches it by surprise, this it’s so hard to cope with and quite easy to get infected.

Fact 6. Once in a cell, the virus “seizes” control over it and forces it to endlessly produce its own copies – instead of its usual proteins. A chain reaction begins. As a result, the cell dies, but the carrier of the infection becomes contagious.

Fact 7. At the initial stage of infection, the new coronavirus actively reproduces itself in the throat and upper respiratory tract. Then the infection goes down and can reach the lungs, causing inflammation.

Fact 8. That is why the first symptom of infection is a cough. Only then the temperature begins to rise.

Fact 9. Or it does not begin – in 30% of patients in Wuhan, the temperature at the time of arrival at the hospital was normal.

Fact 10. Many people who become infected (18% or one in five people) do not even have a cough. The disease proceeds without any symptoms at all: a person may not even suspect that he is sick.

Fact 11. Moreover, such an asymptomatic patient is still an active carrier of infection and can infect others.

Fact 12. If Covid-19 proceeds benignantly, its symptoms are very similar to the usual seasonal flu: dry cough, fever, fatigue, sometimes muscle pain or headache.

Fact 13. Covid-19 is also treated in the same way as regular flu – at home, symptomatically.

Fact 14. One of the most unusual symptoms of coronavirus is the loss of a sense of taste and/or smell.

Fact 15. Loss of a sense of taste and/or smell is not a common symptom – is does not necessarily happens in all Covid-19 cases, sometimes it is the only symptom.

Fact 16. So if you suddenly stop smelling or tasting, this is a reason to grow suspicious and take measures.

Fact 17. Important: the carrier of a new coronavirus becomes dangerous to others immediately after being infected – long before the first symptoms (if any).

Fact 18. The good news: the more deadly a virus is, the worse it is spreading. By killing its master, the virus can no longer infect others. Therefore, the virus rarely mutates into a more deadly form, it is not in its interests.

Fact 19. The bad news: SARS-CoV-2 – is just from a different category. This virus makes its host a spreader, but it does not appear immediately or does not appear at all, so the carrier manages to infect several more people.

Fact 20. On average, each carrier of a new coronavirus manages to infect 2 to 4 healthy people. This number is higher than seasonal flu (1.3), but lower than measles (12+).

Fact 21. Although, like any infection, the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus has the so-called superspreders – carriers that infect incomparably more people: hundreds or even thousands.

Fact 22. In South Korea, the virus was controlled until the number of cases reached 30. But the woman, codenamed “Patient 31”, immediately infected about 1,200 people.

Fact 23. It turned out that she was very religious and continued visiting church, despite the cough and fever, ignoring the orders of the Korean authorities.

Fact 24. Over 10 days, the number of infected in South Korea increased from 30 to 5,000.

Fact 25. The mortality rate from Covid-19 is still difficult to calculate with accuracy, but most studies estimate it at 1-3%.

Fact 26. This is about 20 times higher than seasonal flu, but falls short compared to the predecessors of the coronavirus SARS (10%) and MERS (25%).

Fact 27. Mortality from Covid-19 is highly dependent on the overall burden on the healthcare system and the rapidity of delivery medical care: in Germany it is only 0.3%, in Italy it is almost 9%.

Fact 28. In the age group of 70+, mortality exceeds 5%; 80+, every tenth dies of the virus.

Fact 29. That is why the main task of authorities around the world now is to stretch the epidemic for as long as possible, without allowing a large number of people to get Covid-19 at the same time.

Fact 30. The pandemic is quickly developing: 100,000 patients 67 days after the first diagnosis, the second 100,000 became ill in 11 days, and the third – in 4 days.

Fact 31. Every day, the number of people infected with the virus increases by about a third.

Fact 32. The pandemic has already reached the most remote corners of the globe, including the famous Easter Island, where on March 24, the first patient, a 42-year-old man, was officially confirmed.

Fact 33. Experts warn: you need to psychologically prepare yourself in advance for the fact that the number of infected people can amount to tens of millions, and perhaps hundreds of thousands will die.

Fact 34. It is not exactly known where SARS-CoV-2 came from, but bats and pangolins carry viruses similar to this one.

Fact 35. Most likely, the virus mutated and was transmitted to some other animal, and then to a human.

Fact 36. Was the virus dangerous for a person at the moment when the first person got it? Or did he mutate and learn to penetrate into our cells while already in a person? Scientists have not yet found answers to these questions.

Fact 37. If the virus was already dangerous when it came into contact with humans, it means that it can still walk somewhere in the animal kingdom and sooner or later infect people again.

Fact 38. That is why at the beginning of the outbreak in Wuhan, the first thing they did was closing the wildlife markets.

Fact 39. This, by the way, is a standard measure in China: first they close the markets when a new infection is suspected and lockdown is introduced. It usually helps, but this time it was too late: the asymptomatic virus has already gone “to the people.”

Fact 40. No, the virus did not run away from the biological laboratory, no matter how much someone would like to believe it.

Fact 41. The version of the artificial origin of coronavirus was carefully checked by several teams of scientists from different countries at once and rejected as untenable.

Fact 42. “Our analysis clearly shows that SARS-CoV-2 was not designed in the laboratory and is not a virus that was aimed for any targeted manipulation,” quoted researchers from the journal Nature.

Fact 43. Since we went to bust myths, here’s another one: surgical masks DO NOT protect against coronavirus. Its particles are so small that they easily pass through the pores.

Fact 44. For you to imagine the size of the virus: about 100 million copies can be easily placed on the tip of a needle.
Fact 45. When coughing from an infected patient, the smallest drops of saliva fly off, each of which may contain billions (!) of virus particles.

Fact 46. It makes sense to wear a mask for those who are afraid to infect others. It does not provide 100% protection, but slightly reduces the risk to others.

Fact 47. Contrary to popular belief, pets can NOT spread the coronavirus. No cases of human infection from a dog or cat have yet been reported.

Fact 48. But the virus can be picked up in an absolutely empty room, where the infected had previously been present.

Fact 49. In the air, the coronavirus remains viable (that is, it can infect healthy people) for three hours.

Fact 50. On plastic and steel surfaces, SARS-CoV-2 remains dangerous for up to three days, on paper and cardboard – up to a day, on copper – up to four hours.

Fact 51. That is why the main and most reliable means of prevention is to wash your hands thoroughly after contacting any surfaces outside your home.

Fact 52. If there is no opportunity to wash your hands with soap, use hand gel antiseptic.Fact 52. If there is no opportunity to wash your hands with soap, use hand gel antiseptic.

Fact 53. At the very least, miramistin or chlorhexidine will do for disinfection: they both destroy bacteria and viruses.

Fact 54. Antibiotics against coronavirus are useless.

Fact 55. Lockdown and other restrictive measures may be extended around the world (with short interruptions) until a vaccine or effective treatment for Covid-19 are found.

Fact 56. It is absolutely clear that an effective vaccine for coronavirus will NOT appear earlier than in a year – year and a half, by the mid or end of 2021. At this point under the threat are likely to get sick.

Fact 57. Vaccine may never appear at all. The whole world has been trying to develop a vaccine against HIV for 35 years – this mounted to nothing. Although HIV pills have already been developed for effective prevention.

Fact 58. There is no specific therapy for SARS-CoV-2 yet. Infected people are treated exclusively symptomatically, that is, they are fighting not with the disease itself, but with manifestations of a disease.

Fact 59. Over 100,000 people with confirmed Covid-19 have successfully recovered.

Fact 60. The majority of patients (over 80%) do not need medical assistance at all. They treat themselves at home, with the help of ordinary flu, and usually recover in about a week.

Fact 61. Approximately one in five or six cases require for hospitalization, this is true mainly for the elderly and/or those with chronic diseases.

Fact 62. In heavy cases (about 4%), the patient needs lung ventilation – i.e. to get connected to a ventilator. The ventilation apparatus may not be enough if there are too many sick people. Some car companies have switched to the production of ventilators.

Fact 63. This is one of the main causes of high mortality in Italy. There are a lot of elderly patients, the peak load on hospitals and, as a result, the emaciation of medical staff and lack of equipment.

Fact 64. For 10,300 Italians recovered from Covid-19, more than 8,000 died. Another 62 thousand people are still ill (data as of March 27).

Fact 65. In a separate development, the search for a remedy for the virus goes on. There is no time to develop new drugs, because doctors are checking existing antiviral drugs, namely how effective they are in the fight against SARS-CoV-2.

Fact 66. In February, Chinese doctors noticed that chloroquine, a drug designed to prevent and treat malaria, does a good job in tratment of coronavirus. Since then, several studies have confirmed its effectiveness in controlling Covid-19.

Fact 67. Two other possible remedies are lopinavir, which is commonly used to treat HIV patients, and remdesivir, originally developed to treat Ebola and Marburg virus. So far, both have been successfully tested.

Fact 68. The latest encouraging discovery is the antiviral drug, Avigan (Favipiravir), a popular anti-flu medicine in Japan. It has been specifically designed to fight RNA viruses.

Fact 69. In tests in Wuhan, coronavirus-infected patients who received Avigan recovered in four days.
Fact 70. In some cases, heavily ill Covid-19 patients got transfusion of blood plasma from recovered people – with antibodies against the virus. This practice has proven itself during outbreaks of SARS, MERS and Ebola virus and has been officially recommended by WHO.

Fact 71. Sneezing is NOT a symptom of coronavirus. Coughing – yes, sneezing – no.

Fact 72. SARS-CoV-2 continues mutating. From December to March, some variants of the virus managed to change the genome 14 times.

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