What is Corona Virus?

What exactly is the Corona Virus pandemic? Is it made of barley malt, corn, hops, yeast, antioxidants (ascorbic acid), and propylene glycol alginate as a stabilizer? Unfortunately not. Corona Virus is one of the names, along with COVID-19 for SARS- COV-2 (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2). Some people wonder what exactly COVID-19 means? It can easily be broken down into:

  • CO stands for “corona”
  • D stands for “disease”.
  • VI stands for “virus”

This was first referred to as the “2019 novel Coronavirus”. This virus was first identified in December 2019 in Wuhan China with patient zero.

Now let’s delve into the nitty gritty microbiology of this virus. Do to it being a virus, antibiotics will not stop it (antibiotics only target bacteria cells) thus there needs to be an antiviral medication created to target the actual virus. Creating antivirals is very difficult due to how viruses actually reproduce in our body. A virus can be classified as a double stranded DNA (ds DNA), single stranded DNA (ss DNA), negative sense single stranded RNA (-ssRNA), positive sense single stranded RNA (+ssRNA), and Retroviruses. COVID-19 is a enveloped +ssRNA virus. Enveloped means that when a mature virion leaves a host cell, it takes some of the cell membrane with it. Attached is a video showing the different ways viruses reproduce. You can fast forward until 32:40 to start getting into the RNA replication of this virus.

The main reason this video is included is to help illustrate how intricate viruses actually are. Once viruses are inside our cells and are reproducing, it’s difficult to target them without harming our own cells in the process. This makes viral targeted drug development extremely complex and challenging. As a reminder, majority of the antiviral medications created are going to end with -vir such as peramivir, zanamivir, oseltamivir (Tamiflu). Determining how the virus replicates and the pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics of medications can help scientists narrow down which drug will affect the virus more while keeping in mind the health of the host’s cells.

As many of you know, the common symptoms for COVID-19 are fever, cough, fatigue, dyspnea, headache, and chills. These symptoms usually start 2-14 days after exposure. The virus is spread by droplets which is why the 6 ft social distancing is in place.

Several other safety measures can further limit our chances of possible exposure including: proper hand washing techniques, not touching our faces, and wearing a mask in public.

More recent studies have revealed more and more patients who are developing clots. Not surprisingly, they’re finding more people who have died of PE, strokes, and myocardial infarctions due to the clots. It’s also being reported that there’s a surge of middle aged and younger people having strokes. There’s still ongoing research being conducted in regards to why this is all happening. Interestingly, there’s research being conducted about the use of anticoagulant therapies (especially Heparin) in severe COVID-19 patients with elevated D-dimer. This has shown some positive outcome. More research has been conducted regarding how COVID-19 can impact the heart and cause conditions such as Myocarditis.

Effective patient management/treatment strategies are being studied and developed each day as we learn more about the virus. More COVID-19 related post to come in the following weeks. Please look at some of the links we have mentioned below.

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This site is meant to be used for educational use only. We strive to push evidence based medicine with no bias to help you obtain all the important information. You should always follow your protocols that have been set in place.

Scopeducation Team (Matt)

Works Cited

Basu-Ray, Indranill. “Cardiac Manifestations Of Coronavirus (COVID-19).” StatPearls [Internet]., U.S. National Library of Medicine, 12 Apr. 2020, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK556152/.

Beusekom, Mary Van. “Autopsies of COVID-19 Patients Reveal Clotting Concerns.” CIDRAP Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, University of Minnesota, 7 May 2020, www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2020/05/autopsies-covid-19-patients-reveal-clotting-concerns.

“ESC Guidance for the Diagnosis and Management of CV Disease during the COVID-19 Pandemic.” European Society of Cardiology, 21 Apr. 2020, http://www.escardio.org/Education/COVID-19-and-Cardiology/ESC-COVID-19-Guidance.

Pesheva, Ekaterina. “COVID-19’s Consequences for the Heart.” Harvard Gazette, Harvard Gazette, 14 Apr. 2020, news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2020/04/covid-19s-consequences-for-the-heart/.

Tang, Ning, et al. “Anticoagulant Treatment Is Associated with Decreased Mortality in Severe Coronavirus Disease 2019 Patients with Coagulopathy.” Wiley Online Library, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, 27 Apr. 2020, onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/jth.14817.

This site is meant to be used for educational use only. We strive to push evidence based medicine with no bias to help you obtain all the important information. You should always follow your protocols that have been set in place.

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