The Coronavirus: What Scientists Have Learned So Far

Updated on March 21st, 2020
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Coronavirus pandemic is one of the deadliest attacks that the world has witnessed in the recent past. It has spread around the globe, infecting more than 182,000 individuals with 7,100+ fatalities. Of the total cases, around 79,000 people have already recovered.

Scientists have been studying various patterns and conditions on how it could be chronic in some people/regions while it is mild in the others. Analyzing these conditions, symptoms, and recovery processes can also help scientists in developing new methods to diagnose and also support the vaccines.

These lessons and research gathered by the scientists could help governments & organizations to optimize the process of eradicating coronavirus.

From the past two weeks, there is also a spike in all the cases and fatalities of coronavirus. Although it was much worse in China, the new infections are higher in number in Italy, Spain, and Germany. While the new fatality rates are higher in Italy, followed by Iran and Spain.

Why does Italy have more new cases and fatalities than in other countries?

According to reports, the first man that was attacked by coronavirus checked into the hospital and was tested positive.

But according to Flavia Riccardo, the virus might have been already circulating before the first case was reported. On the other hand, the reporting on influenza and other conditions associated with pneumonia were higher than usual.

So, researchers claim that these individuals might have been attacked by coronavirus but were instead treated for seasonal flu or other similar conditions. Here, the health centers, local transport, and other places might have become the sites of infection. It is because people might have continued with their usual work, as many were not clearly informed about the highly probable spread of coronavirus.

Researchers had reported that since the spread might have started before they realized which could have triggered the high number of coronavirus cases in Italy.

[ Read: Risk of Corona Virus for Elders ]

What exactly was responsible for COVID-19?

The first case of COVID-19 was reported in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. Almost a third of the reports in that province had direct exposure to the market where they sold animal meats and also carcasses.

However, there are no reliable reports that could confirm if the first person got COVID-19 from that market. Many believe, and even research is being conducted to know if bats are responsible for it. In fact, bats are sold for eating in that market. Besides, bats are also thought to be responsible for SARS(2003) and MERS(2012).

On the other hand, a woman infected by COVID-19 never traveled outside of the US or to any places that were known to have the cases of the virus. Even the origins of her infection are unknown (1). However, there is also great work being done in finding the sources of the virus. But does it help? Yes, finding the origin of it can be very helpful in developing more effective vaccines and can also speed up its development.

Earlier, the outbreak of the Nipah virus was known to be caused by the urine of flying fox bats. The urine of that was found in date palm sap, and people who consumed it got infected by the virus. So, governments and experts suggested not to drink the virus which controlled the spread to an extent. It also aided the virologists and other scientists in developing the drugs.

Are there any latest developments in drugs to control COVID-19?

A test was conducted on a woman, mentioned in the earlier paragraph. UC Davis doctors got permission from the FDA, where she was given some randomized trials, similar to the ones which are being conducted in China. The patient was chronically ill when the test was conducted, wherein she showed improvements after the treatment.

However, researches play a cautious role in these cases of emergency drug treatments. Even if the drugs could kill the virus in some people, it may cause toxicity in the body or other organs. Hence, these researches conduct a lot of trials before approving any drugs.

Another clinical trial has begun in Seattle, Washington. In general, vaccines are developed from weakened or dead viruses. But, the new vaccine is made in the laboratory by copying the segment of the genetic code of the virus.

Researchers and scientists in also Israel have announced that they have developed a vaccine to control COVID-19. These measures and developments could also help in comprehending the biological mechanisms which could help in developing better diagnostics and antibodies(2).

[Read: Can the World Control COVID-19? ]

Bottom Line:

Coronavirus or COVID-19 is impacting the world on a large scale. Protocols are being taken to control the spread and mitigate the impact. As mentioned earlier, not all the cases are fatal, and treatment in the earlier stages are proven to be effective. However, maintaining a healthy lifestyle and following the necessary precautionary measures can play a vital role in inhibiting the spread and even in recovering if affected.

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