At the end of the year 2019, the novel Coronavirus also called SARS-CoV-2 arose in Wuhan, China. It spread rapidly across China and even in foreign countries. World Health Organization declared it to be a pandemic condition. As the coronavirus cases approach 1 million globally, researchers are making efforts to get familiar with what makes Coronavirus spread so easily and rapidly.
Actually, in China, the blast of COVID-19 cases was driven largely because the symptoms were limited, mild or no. Undetected infected people were responsible for the stealth transmission. Stealth transmission is a major challenge to researchers even though an increase in awareness increased personal protective practice. Even travel restrictions have helped to dampen the infection force.
Ongoing efforts are made to suppress the potential respiratory virus. People across the globe are given instructions to sanitize their hands after every 20 minutes. Wear a personal respiratory mask before going outside the house, maintain social distancing, and cover your mouth while sneezing & coughing.
Ongoing research on why COVID-19 spreads so fast?
The researchers identified the key features related to virus via its structural and genetic analysis. It has a protein layer on its surface, which is believed to readily infect human cells. How new COVID-19 enter cell membrane receptors or human tissues? The virus protein and cell receptors have the potential to block pathogen. How this is done is still to be uncovered.
New coronavirus spreads so quickly than SARS virus that it triggered severe acute respiratory syndrome. Corona is also a kind of SARS but is 10 times more infectious. It is necessary to understand the transmission of coronavirus for future contamination and prevention.
Coronavirus uses ‘spike’ protein to infect the human cell. The spike binds to the cell membrane, which is a process that gets activated via special cell enzymes. Coronavirus has spike proteins, which differ but gets activated by furin, a host cell enzyme.
Furin is present in multiple human tissues including the liver, the lungs, and the small intestines. It means the virus is capable to attack multiple internal organs. This explains some symptoms observed in infected people including liver failure.
Some researchers are cautious about comparing the furin activation sites associated with new coronavirus and flu viruses. The flu virus has haemagglutinin protein on its surface, whereas coronavirus has spike protein and both work differently. Flu virus responsible for the deadliest pandemic in 1918 does not have a furin activation site.
The current situation is that COVID-19 has an upper hand because there is no vaccine or no new treatment, which can help to reduce the mortality numbers significantly. However, until then it is wise to maintain good hygiene practice, physical and social distancing, and stay updated on COVID-19 developments to follow the guidelines.
Wear a mask, if you sneeze or cough frequently. Healthy people must not leave their homes without wearing masks and hand gloves. Even carry sanitizers. Never touch your mask, when worn. If you touch the mask sanitize your hands. Always discard single-use mask!