Last updated: May 30, 2020
The Corona Virus is spreading worldwide, originating from Wuhan, China. Now, many more countries are getting infected and people are also dying. In China alone, more than eighty thousand people already infected. But what really happens if you have Corona Virus in your body.
Before we get into this, we want to clarify that this post is not meant to spread fear or sensation in any way. We will not comment on its level of global threat Because that information is constantly changing. While experts monitor its spread, we will be looking at how the Corona Virus actually infects the body. What does it do to you and what are its symptoms, how does your body actually fight it or does it cause death in some.
How Corona Virus infects us?
The Corona Virus is actually a whole family of viruses that cause disease in mammals and birds. For example, SARS was also a coronavirus.
Now viruses are interesting because sometimes they considered both living and non-living things. They do not have cells, but they have the ability to replicate in a different way than just other organisms. Oh! and they are actually much smaller than cells.
To become infected with the coronavirus, you must first come into contact with it. It generally caused by
- the infected person’s respiratory secretions such as cough or sneezing through physical contact
- Or physically touching a surface that contains the virus. Then touching it somewhere like your nose or your mouth before washing your hands.
Once the virus is able to enter your body it can start working. One thing that all viruses have in common is that they carry some kind of genetic material in the form of DNA or RNA.
In the case of coronaviruses, it carries RNA that contains all the information to replicate genetic information in a virus. It usually surrounded by a protective capsid.
What happens once the virus comes in contact with your cells?
It binds the receptors on that cell. You might think that the outer layer of the virus has a key, and if the virus has found the right cells in the right species, its key is being able to unlock these cells. As a result, the virus is able to enter where it has access to all the cell’s machinery. Now usually, this machinery is reserve for your own DNA, which uses something call ribosomes to make proteins that have all kinds of functions and travel throughout the body. But coronaviruses hijack this system.
It uses its own RNA to get into those ribosomes and starts making the protein it wants. So basically, your cell starts producing viruses by creating genetic material, capsids, and envelopes. And eventually, your cell becomes a virus making machine. And that’s why viruses are often considered non-living because they don’t really have the machinery to do this job. They really need your body cells to do this.
Therefore the RNA instructions of the coronavirus are repeatedly read and made protein after protein, and can eventually form millions of viruses. These viruses fill the cell and make their way back to the cell membrane. And finally, they exit after destroying the cell in the process.
Your body will feel it and start to trigger an immune response. Both of these things are what will cause these symptoms that you start feeling in the case of coronavirus.
- runny nose
- sore throat
- and fever.
This is difficult to track and understand because they are common symptoms that we all feel, especially in flu season or just from the common cold. Medical professionals will need to do laboratory tests on blood tests and respiratory secretions to understand that if your symptoms are coming from COVID-19.
The immune system in a healthy person will eventually feel that there is a foreign agent inside your body and is preparing for an attack. The immune system is incredibly complex with a plethora of different mechanisms to defeat its invaders. Your temperature increases which helps your immune system function better. Actually make it a more hostile environment for the virus. The immune system can produce more phlegm which makes it harder for the virus to attach to your cells. It also helps to get rid of dead viruses and immune cells. Your body feels weak and fatigued as your body starts giving priority to fighting this virus rather than doing day to day activities. And your bones can actually feel pain and that is because they are making more white blood cells to protect their mainline.
If You Get Corona virus, how the body will fight?
once body detects coronavirus, the body triggers signals to start producing antibodies. These antibodies are your own DNA. The DNA of each cell essentially consists of sections of code that include instructions to build different defense systems. Enzymes in the nucleus find the right segment of DNA, making a copy called messenger RNA, which is sent to the ribosome in your cells that will read these instructions and start making the corresponding proteins. Each cell becomes an antibody-producing factory with more than 10 million ribosomes. These ribosomes are sent outside the cell to fight the virus.
The tricky part for your body is that the immune response doesn’t catch the virus immediately. So essentially the virus starts with the upper hand which is why it can take so long for your body to fight the virus. But for the Corona Virus, people with a healthy immune system should be able to fight and rid of the virus within weeks.
This particular coronavirus has mostly affected the elderly. And this is because as we age, our immune systems become less effective and they actually slow down. The virus continues to attack the cells and the cells continue to die in a desperate attempt to save your body.
In severe cases, white blood cells are responsible for activating various types of chemicals. These chemicals can cause fluid leakage in your lungs. And this combination of cellular destruction from viruses and fluid-filled lungs interrupts the transport of oxygen into the bloodstream leading to suffocation and organ failure.
But the virus is not always the cause of death. Often with a weakened and distracted immune system, other organisms such as bacteria are able to take advantage of the body.
So, it is very important for us to save ourselves from these coronaviruses, improve our immune response and stay away from infected people. For more information read WHO official website.
Also, read about Breast Cancer and mammography procedure in our last article.