The entire Humanity is threatened by the tiny coronavirus named as SARS CoV-2. It belongs to the family of coronaviruses, named for crownlike spikes on their surfaces. SARS CoV-2 can cause COVID-19, a contagious viral infection that attacks primarily your throat and lungs. What actually happens to your body once you get contracted with the coronavirus? What exactly causes your body to develop pneumonia? and how does the vaccine would work? The coronavirus must infect living cells to breed. Let’s have a better look at what happens when SARS CoV-2 enters into your body?
Viruses contain their genetic material that contains the knowledge to form more copies of itself. A protein shell provides a tough protective layer for the genetic material because the virus travels between the people it infects. An outer envelope allows the virus to infect cells, by merging with the cell’s outer membrane. And the spikes of the protein molecules project outward from the envelope.
Whether it is a typical influenza virus or the new coronavirus SARS CoV-2. Both of them use their spikes as a key to enter into a cell in your body. Inside the cell, it takes over the internal machinery of your cell, repurposing it to create the components of the latest viruses.
When an infected person talks, coughs or sneezes, droplets carrying the virus may land in your mouth or nose and then enter into your lungs. Once inside your body, the virus comes into contact with cells in your throat, nose, or lungs and create a lock. One spike on the virus inserts into a receptor molecule on your healthy cell wall like a key during a lock. This action allows the virus to urge inside your cell.
A typical flu virus would travel inside a sack made up of your cell wall to your cell’s nucleus, where your cell houses, all of its genetic material. The coronavirus, on the opposite hand, doesn’t need to enter the host nucleus. It can directly access parts of the host cell, called Ribosomes. Ribosomes use genetic information from the virus to form viral proteins, like the spikes on the virus’s surface. A packaging structure in your cell then carries the spikes in vesicles, which merge with your cell’s outer layer, the cell wall.
All the parts should gather just beneath your cell’s membrane to make a replacement virus. Then a replacement virus begins to form far away from the cell’s membrane. And the viruses multiply themselves.
Then how can you develop pneumonia symptoms?
#Pic Source: Wikipedia
Well, First of all, you will need to understand how does our lung works?. Each lung has separate sections, called lobes. Normally, as you breathe, air moves freely through your trachea or windpipe, then through large tubes called bronchi, through smaller tubes called bronchioles, and eventually into tiny sacs, called alveoli.
Your airways and alveoli are flexible and springy. Once you inhale, each air sac inflates like a balloon. And The sacs deflate if you exhale. Small blood vessels, called capillaries surround your alveoli. Oxygen from the air you breathe passes into your capillaries, then CO2 from your body passes out of your capillaries into your alveoli so that your lungs can remove it as soon as you exhale.
Your airways catch most germs within the mucus that lines your trachea, bronchi, and bronchioles. During a healthy body, hair-like cilia lining the tubes constantly push the mucus and germs out of your airways, and you’ll expel them by coughing.
Normally, cells of your system attack viruses and germs that make it past your mucus and cilia and enter your alveoli. However, if your system is weakened like within the case of coronavirus infection. The virus can overwhelm your immune cells and your bronchioles and alveoli become inflamed and your immune system attacks the multiplying viruses.
The inflammation can cause your alveoli to fill with fluid, making it difficult for your body to meet the oxygen it needs. And you’ll develop pneumonia, where one lobe of your lungs is affected. Otherwise, you could have bronchopneumonia that affects many areas of both lungs.
Pneumonia may cause:
- Difficulty in breathing.
- Chest pain.
- Coughing fever.
- Chills confusion.
- Muscle pain and
It can also cause more serious complications. Respiratory failure occurs when your breathing becomes so difficult that, you simply need a machine called a ventilator to assist you to breathe. These are the machines that are consistently saving thousands of lives during this pandemic period. And medical device companies are currently increasing their production.
However, whether you’d develop these symptoms? or not, it depends on tons of things, like your age and whether you have already got an existing condition. While all this sounds so scary, the push to develop a coronavirus vaccine is moving at high speed.
Studies of other coronaviruses lead most researchers to assume the folks that, who have recovered from a SARS-CoV-2 infection might be shielded from reinfection for a while. But that assumption must be backed up by empirical evidence and should be suggested by a few studies.
How does the vaccine work?
There are several different approaches for a possible vaccine against the coronavirus. The most essential idea is that you simply inject the vaccine with faint versions of the virus into your body. The vaccine would then expose your body to the virus that’s too weak to cause an infection, but just strong enough to stimulate an immune reaction. Within a couple of weeks, cells in your system would make markers called antibodies. Which might be specific for the coronavirus only or specifically its spike protein.
Antibodies then attach to the virus and stop it from attaching to your cells. Your system then responds to signals from the antibodies, by consuming and destroying the clumps of viruses. And if you catch the important virus at a later stage, your body would recognize and destroy it. In other words, your system is now prepared to fight against the coronavirus.
Collecting evidence on whether this may be possible, safe, and effective is a component of what’s taking researchers a long time to develop a vaccine. It’s a race against the clock to develop a vaccine within a pandemic period.
Each step-in vaccine development usually takes months if not years. An Ebola vaccine broke records by being ready in five years. The hope here is to develop one for the new coronavirus during a record-breaking 12 to 18 months.
While all of this may take time, till then, stay home to guard yourself against the foremost vulnerable case. And don’t forget to scrub your hands for a minimum of 20 seconds and as often as possible. Follow the lockdown more strictly and make it more productive working from home.