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What is the corona virus and why is it dangerous?

Corona viruses (Coronaviruses) are a family of viruses that cause diseases in the respiratory and digestive tracts of various animals from the mammalian and avian classes. These are viruses with a symmetrical capsid, visible in an electron microscope as a crown from above, hence their name. Their genetic material is positive single-stranded RNA, which is 32-26 thousand bases long - relatively large compared to other RNA viruses

symptoms of coronavirus. Infographic: shutterstock
symptoms of coronavirus. Infographic: shutterstock

Recently, an epidemic began to spread in China and from there to the rest of the world, centered on the corona virus (2019-nCoV) that emerged from Wuhan in China. There are many reports in the media about the outbreak of pneumonia caused by new to science corona viruses. Who are the corona viruses and what diseases do they cause? And we will also try to keep up to date on the latest outbreak.

Corona viruses (Coronaviruses) are a family of viruses that cause diseases in the respiratory and digestive tracts of various animals from the mammalian and avian classes. These are viruses with a symmetrical capsid, visible in an electron microscope as a crown from above, hence their name. Their hereditary material is positive single-stranded RNA, which is 32-26 thousand bases long - relatively large compared to other RNA viruses.

Four of the corona viruses that were known in humans until 2002 caused minor respiratory diseases - what we call colds or colds. Since then three more have appeared.

In 2002, a corona virus that caused fatal pneumonia in humans emerged for the first time from the province of Guandong in southern China, and was called SARS-CoV (short for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome). The SARS virus eventually caused the morbidity of 8273 people worldwide, of whom 775 died (9.6 percent). The incubation time of the SARS virus was about 10 to XNUMX days. His genetic material underwent a relatively rapid genetic drift that did not allow the creation of a vaccine.

At a certain point, at the end of 2003, the epidemic was contained, mainly by locating the patients and isolating them, and since then, apart from a few "laboratory accidents" in which laboratory workers were infected, the virus has not been seen again. Later it turned out that the virus came from the masked palm weevil (Paguma larvata). Ten thousand individuals of the small mammal were destroyed in the Guadong region. Later it was found that a very similar virus is also found in raccoon foxes (Nyctereutes procyonoides), weasel badgers (Melogale) and even in domestic cats.

In 2013, a new corona virus appeared, this time from the Saudi West. That is why it was called MERS-CoV (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome). It also caused potentially fatal pneumonia. In the meantime, it caused illness in more than 2000 people worldwide, of whom about 30 percent died. The origin of the MERS virus was in bats, from which it passed to camels and from them to humans. And he emerges from time to time, even today.

There is, as of today, no medicine that inhibits the replication of corona viruses in the cells of the host, and the treatment in severe cases tries to reduce the effect of the symptoms to allow the patient's body to overcome the disease on its own (which is not always successful).

and the recent events.

In mid-December 2019, an accumulation of serious cases of viral pneumonia began in the city of Wuhan (Wuhan) in the province of Hubei (Hubei) in China, and began to spread to other areas in China and abroad. The initial source of the outbreak was probably the local fish market, where besides fish, many other animals are sold. On December 31.12, China reported the outbreak to the World Health Organization.

Chinese Health Authority scientists isolated the virus and quickly determined the sequence of the viral genome, as did the CDC scientists - for the virus isolated from the first American patient. (The results were almost identical). According to the sequence, the new virus is associated with the corona viruses, and is temporarily called 2019-nCoV. Among the corona viruses, the new virus is closer to the SARS virus, and to another bat corona virus.

At the moment there is a suspicion, which needs to be verified, that the origin of the virus is in bats, but this requires further verification.

Two patients have already been located in the United States (both returned from Wuhan) and three others in France. Additional individual cases were also located in South Korea and Australia. In Israel, blue suspects who returned from China were tested, but they fell ill for other reasons.

The estimated incubation time from infection with the virus to the development of disease symptoms is 14-2 days. This time allows the virus to spread rapidly from the original outbreak area. Since there is a possibility of infection between humans, as with the SARS viruses. There may be an epidemic potential here. The Chinese authorities decided not to take a risk (it is also not clear if they released all the information in their hands) about the epidemic and quarantined five cities in Yubei province, which are inhabited by 35 million(!) inhabitants, and even canceled public transportation to the capital Beijing.

As of January 26, there are 2065 people who have definitely (laboratory confirmation) contracted the disease, 23 of them outside of China, there are another 2692 cases that have not been laboratory confirmed. 41 of them died (about 3 percent of the confirmed cases). We will wait for developments.

From the blog of Dr. Dror Bar-Nir: "Bacteria, viruses and other "vegetables"

Update on the outbreak of the new corona virus – on the CDC website
Updates on the outbreak of the virus - World Health Organization
about the SARS outbreak in 2002 - in the blog "bacteria, viruses and other "vegetables"
about the MERS epidemic in 2013 - in the blog "bacteria, viruses and other "vegetables"

More of the topic in Hayadan:

13 תגובות

  1. Confuses the mind on telepaths
    Bats have been living in the world for many years and the Chinese eat them and also the fish by the way fish are all over the world not only in China and suddenly there is an infection
    It's a bacterium that got infected from its water in a laboratory and it will spread to the world and yes, there are bacteria that are contagious and develop, like for example bacteria in feces, it's contagious, a virus is contagious at some point and people don't die from it for a long time, any virus but a bacterium does
    A bacterium without symptoms means that it is dormant and nothing can be seen on the person
    An active bacterium causes diarrhea, stomach aches, a bacterium of the corona virus, it affects the blood and clogs the arteries and the respiratory tract, and then if they fail to treat it, the blood will die

  2. The world wants to be smart about women. To advance in the field of viruses to destroy people and this will turn the unknown into death

  3. In my opinion, everything has a solution. And I'm sure the corona virus has the antibodies. But unfortunately... Waiting for the situation that I just spent under control. And that's the situation. Waiting for there to be more patients and panic and landslides such as: stock market, economy, etc... In short, there is an antidote to Corona and I am sure of it.

  4. It is possible to stop the spread of any virus or virus by neutering the do you do it?
    The answer is simple: a UV lamp in the crossings of the National Highway
    Blue light sterilizes the bacteria or virus and prevents incubation and spread.
    Similar holes are in mini-bars for washing down water, or in public restrooms, there are hand-drying machines where there are bulbs with a blue light designed to kill and sterilize bacteria so they don't multiply

  5. Forget live bats and cube! This is about developing a virus for biological warfare to kill masses. And the Chinese just got involved. Introduce a sister to the CIA in the USA.

  6. This is due to the spoiled beer... I also once drank spoiled beer and felt bad Corona beer.

  7. Contrary to the pretense in the title, it is not explained here why the virus is dangerous. The reason: it is a single-stranded RNA virus, so it replicates in the body's cells quickly and "explodes" the cells with quantities of its copies to the point that it disables the cells. This is the risk, this is the reason for the symptoms of coughing, shortness of breath and feeling bad.

  8. Just stop eating animals, it hurts my heart to see what is done to them and what cruelty all over Asia.

    Punishment to the world from above

  9. It should be clarified that both in the case of SARS and MERS, the sick people started spreading viruses only after they developed a fever. That is, by measuring the temperature of passengers on planes, trains, etc., they managed to stop the spread of the virus.
    Today, Chinese authorities say the new virus is spread by patients before they have any signs of illness. If this is the case, it will be impossible to stop the spread of the virus. The Center for Disease Control in the US claims that there is still no accurate information on the nature of the infection. Let's hope the Chinese are wrong.

  10. It is only interesting that it would have been appropriate for a biologist to distinguish and separate between:
    Paguma larvata
    and: Civettictis civetta
    Between: Ferret (Melogale moschata)
    To: raccoon (Procyon lotor)
    Because there is confusion in the names...

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