How does the Corona virus infect the human cell and make it sick?

The SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus

The new coronavirus causing COVID-19 disease has spread to almost the whole world. At least six other types of coronavirus are known to infect humans, and some of them cause colds, while two types cause epidemics: SARS and MERS. So how does the coronavirus infect a cell and cause people to get sick and even die?

Covered with spikes

The coronavirus takes its name from the "corona", which is the Latin equivalent of the crown, as its rod extensions and protrusions are crown-shaped. The virus is enveloped in a bubble of oily lipid molecules, which falls apart on contact with soap.

Entry into a vulnerable cell

The virus enters the body through the nose, mouth, or eyes, and adheres to the cells that produce Angiotensin II (ACE2) in the airways. The virus is thought to be transmitted from bats as they produce an enzyme similar to ACE2 in bats.

Viral RNA release

The coronavirus is transmitted to the cell by adhering its oily membrane to the cell's membrane. Once the virus enters the cell, genetic material called RNA releases particles.

Hijacking the Cell

While the genome of humans consists of more than 3 billion genetic letters, the genome of the virus consists of 30 thousand genetic letters. The infected cell reads RNA and helps the virus produce new copies by producing proteins that will disable the immune system. Antibiotics kill bacteria but won't work against viruses. Researchers are testing antiviral drugs to block viral proteins and stop the infection.

Producing viral proteins

As the infection progresses, the devices of the cell begin to mass-produce new spikes and proteins. Thus, more coronavirus copies are created.

Bringing new copies together

New copies of the virus are brought together and moved to the outer edges of the cell.

Spreading the Infection

Cells can release hundreds of copies of the virus before they die. It infects cells near viruses or becomes bubbles thrown out of the lung.

Immune Response

Most coronavirus infections are manifested by fever. Because our immune system fights to remove the virus. In some cases, our immune system overreacts to the lung cells. Our lung is blocked by dead cells and fluid. This makes breathing difficult. Although it has a small percentage, in some cases, the infection can cause acute respiratory distress syndrome and eventually death.

Leaving the body

Coughing and sneezing can transfer virus-laden bubbles to nearby people and surfaces. In this way, the virus can remain contagious for several hours or days. Infected people can prevent the spread of the virus with the help of a mask. Healthy people do not have to wear a mask unless they look after a sick person.

A possible vaccine

A vaccine can help the body produce antibodies to target the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The flu vaccine works this way too, but antibodies created from the flu vaccine do not protect against coronavirus.

The most effective way to prevent infection is washing hands with soap, not touching the face with unwashed hands, maintaining the necessary distance with sick people and regularly cleaning the frequently used surfaces.

How Soap Works

Soap destroys the virus when the water-shunning tails of the soap molecules wedge themselves into the lipid membrane and pry it apart.

The best way to avoid getting infected with the coronavirus is to wash your hands with soap, avoid touching your face, keep your distance from sick people and regularly clean frequently used surfaces.

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