What this coronavirus does to your body
Young. There are a lot of viruses that we're familiar with and some of them. We track regularly like the flu. What about for Corona viruses? Do we know a lot about them? We very much do not so. Flu is very familiar. Influence viruses have been the cause of many pandemics in history and we have a very very Established infrastructure studying and combating that with Corona viruses. It's entirely different. Research onto this group of ours is has been very niche for a long period of time and partly. That's because until this new one sauce. Cova to came along that will only six known corona viruses that infect humans four of them are incredibly mild today circulate around the world every winter and they call us maybe a third of cases of what we just called the common calls. So just sniffles runny nose sore throat. That kind of thing. And for that reason people studied them the other two saws and Murs both goes much more severe diseases but caused outbreaks that were easier to contain. What is up with this specific virus? Why why is it so successful? Why is it so good at spreading and infecting humans? Do we actually know that. So I would say that we don't But I think based on what we know we can at least try and put together a plausible hypothesis. The thing that especially makes this virus hod is that it seems to have a long incubation time between a first infecting a new person and then causing symptoms during which it seems to be able to transmit to a new host and specifically the reason why it's capacity to spread before symptoms is bad is that it allows it to really move around the world and within a country before people understand where it is but is there a specific reason why it is So good at infecting humans specifically because this thing originated in animals. Right you're right Based on the structure of the virus it seems that there are a few possible qualities that allow it to spread so easily amid seems to stick to ourselves most strongly in more readily and it seems to be able to infect cells throughout a wider pot of the airways so the virus is basically a spiky bowl. So it's a it's a bowl With these proteins called spike proteins on the surface. those spikes that recognize and latch onto a protein called as to which is found on the surface of our cells and like a key fitting into a lock that is the first step to launching an infection This is also what the original saws virus. Did it had spikes which latched onto ace too. But the specific shape of the spikes on this new virus. Abso- SCURVY TO THOSE FIGHTS. Much better at latching onto as to their a closer fit to the protein. What that means is that maybe it is easier for the virus to attach itself to our cells and maybe that might mean that it takes a lower dose of virus to begin an infection again. This is all pretty speculative but it makes sense given the tight fit between those two molecules. Okay so the first thing is that this virus is better than previous corona viruses sticking to ourselves. What's the second thing right now then? Once once that I touch meant is meant. The spike protein must be split into its two separate halls In order for the infection to continue With the original sauce bars that split did not happen very easily. But with this new virus it can be done by an enzyme called fury in which cuts the to hobbs apart and fear and notably is widespread. It's made by the human body. It's found in a lot of different types of tissues and again that might be important for explaining some of the whig characteristics of this virus. Like what most restorative irises tend to either the upper or the Lower Airways O'Kane if they in the upper airways they spread very easily but they tend to cause mild illnesses like a runny nose. Or or what have you if they in fact lower airways they tend to cause more severe illness illness like pneumonia but they also harder to spread so as Kobe to seems to infect both sites and maybe that's because it relies on that widespread fearing enzyme. And maybe that might explain some of its its sleekness. Maybe it spreads easily when it infects the Upper Airways before then moving to the lower ones to cause more severe illness. It kind of sounds like it's like it's it's just very good at what it does. So what are the odds of of that actually happening where the odds of having a corona virus that that has this particular combination of traits right true so whenever a new threat like this happens there are always conspiracy theories about whether a the new pathogen was designed engineered to infect humans and certainly It does nothing to quell those theories. When you hear that it's so well adapted to infecting human cells. It sounds it sounds improbable that a virus that was looking in some wild animal should have exactly those right traits and then somehow managed find its way into a human body but there are a lot of corona viruses out that we don't know about and I think that's the reality of the world that a lot of us don't understand that wild animals Haba millions maybe billions of different kinds of corona viruses. Even though the odds to any one of them might infect us very well and Cole's a pandemic of the kind of very low it actually becomes a reasonably likely scenario given how many possible viruses there are out there.