Corona Virus


On 31st December, a Chinese government website announced the detection of a “pneumonia of unknown cause” in the area surrounding the South China seafood wholesale market in Wuhan, an industrial city of 11 million people. The virus that caused these symptoms was later discovered as SARS-CoV-2. The outbreak has since spread across China to other countries around the world

What Are Coronaviruses?

Coronaviruses are a group of viruses which typically tend to affect human and other mammal’s respiratory tract and their guts. In 1937, coronaviruses were first identified as an infectious bronchitis virus with which birds suffered that could devastate poultry stocks. The viruses are closely associated with infections like pneumonia, the common cold and conditions like severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS)

SARS-CoV first emerged in 2002 in Guangdong, China as an unusual pneumonia, which developed into life-threatening respiratory failure in certain cases. The virus rapidly spread across 29 countries, infecting more than 8000 people and killing about 800.

The MERS-CoV epidemic appeared in Saudi Arabia in 2012, with people experiencing similar symptoms to SARS-CoV but dying at a much higher rate of 34 per cent. Unlike SARS-CoV, which spread quickly and widely, MERS-CoV has been mainly limited to the Middle East.


Coronaviruses have extraordinarily large single-stranded RNA genomes – approximately 26,000 to 32,000 bases or RNA “letters” in length. Coronavirus particles are surrounded by a fatty outer layer called an envelope and usually appear spherical, as seen under an electron microscope, with a crown or “corona” of club-shaped spikes on their surface.

Signs and Symptoms of Covid-19:

According to the WHO, the most common symptoms of Covid-19 are fever, tiredness and a dry cough. Some patients may also have a runny nose, sore throat, nasal congestion and aches and pains or diarrhoea. Some people report losing their sense of taste and/or smell. About 80% of people who get Covid-19 experience a mild case – about as serious as a regular cold – and recover without needing any special treatment.

Diagnosis and Cure:

Covid-19 is diagnosed in people in laboratory either by Real Time RT-PCR testing, a health care provider uses a long swab to take a nasal sample. The sample is then sent to a lab for testing. If you’re coughing up saliva (sputum), that may be sent for testing. Another test known as Rapid antibody Blood test is also being conducted in laboratories worldwide.

Treatment/Cure is directed at relieving symptoms and may include: Pain relievers (ibuprofen or acetaminophen), Cough syrup or medication, Rest, Fluid intake and most importantly Social Distancing. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved limited emergency use for chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19. The National Medical Products Administration of China has approved the use of Favilavir, an anti-viral drug, as a treatment for coronavirus. Research for Coronavirus vaccine is happening at breakneck speed. About 80 groups around the world are researching vaccines and some are now entering clinical trials.

Corona virus Update/latest figures:

As of Thursday, April 30, 2020. 15:15:11 (CST), there are 3,196,664 laboratory-confirmed cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection globally, with 227,723 reported deaths globally.  Source: John Hopkins University/ CNN

Coronavirus myths and memes:

One persistent myth is that this virus, called SARS-CoV-2, was made by scientists/manmade and escaped from a lab in Wuhan, China, where the outbreak began. Kristian Andersen, an associate professor of immunology and microbiology at Scripps Research, and his colleagues looked at the genetic template for the spike proteins that protrude from the surface of the virus. The coronavirus uses these spikes to grab the outer walls of its host’s cells and then enter those cells. They specifically looked at the gene sequences responsible for two key features of these spike proteins: the grabber, called the receptor-binding domain, that hooks onto host cells; and the so-called cleavage site that allows the virus to open and enter those cells. That analysis showed that the “hook” part of the spike had evolved to target a receptor on the outside of human cells called ACE2, which is involved in blood pressure regulation. It is so effective at attaching to human cells that the researchers said the spike proteins were the result of natural selection and not genetic engineering.

As the novel coronavirus has dominated hard news and government over the course of 2020, it has also dominated the meme cycle. Trends moved from joking about the virus and memeing in-demand items to sharing personal experiences and ramifications from the virus itself, becoming less specific and more absurd as the pandemic became the biggest part of daily life.

Coronavirus Effects:

Coronavirus has massively affected the whole world. From a street vendor to a multinational billionaire, everyone has suffered due to this pandemic. The global trade and economy has been collapsed, stock markets have crashed, crude oil prices have turned negative first time in human history, ways of living are changing dramatically. Rituals, strict religious norms are restricted or modified due to this enraging pandemic. In this modern era nothing has affected this planet as much as SARS COV-2.

References and Citations:

[1] BMJ Best Practice. 2020. Available at: (accessed January 2020)

[2] World Health Organization. 2020. Available at: (accessed January 2020)

[3] World Health Organization. 2020. Available at: (accessed March 2020)

[4] Paules CI, Marston HD & Fauci AS. JAMA. 2020; In press. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.0757

[5] Esper F, Ou Z & Huang YT. J Clin Virol. 2010;48(2):131–133. doi:10.1016/j.jcv.2010.03.007

[6] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2020. Available at: (accessed January 2020)

Books reference:

Robbins Basic Pathology

10th Edition

   Dr Vinay Kumar , MBBS , Professor of Pathology at Department of Biotechnology, Savitribai    University since 2009.

Abul K. Abbas, MBBS, Distinguished Professor and Chair, Department of Pathology, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California

Jon C. Aster, MD, PhD, Professor of Pathology, Harvard Medical School; Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *