In December 2019, dozens of people in Wuhan, China, developed pneumonia. After tracing, it turns out that this is caused by an outbreak of a virus similar to the SARS virus. Then until the following month, the number of people infected with this virus also multiplied and spread in various countries.
This virus is then called SARS-CoV-2 (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome-Related Coronavirus 2) which causes a disease called Covid-19 (Corona Virus Disease 2019). However, we more commonly call it Coronavirus.
About Corona Virus
Simply put, a virus is just a wrapped string of protein, which is not a living thing. They can only duplicate themselves by infecting living cells.
Corona virus can spread through the surface of objects, but how long it can last can not be ascertained with certainty.
The main method of spread is through droplet infection, which is from the saliva/snot of an infected person. In general, the liquid without us knowing it is in the hand, then unconsciously we use the hand to hold the face, especially the eyes, nose, and mouth. This is where the coronavirus infection begins.
From the eyes, nose, and mouth, the coronavirus will get a ride to enter deeper, for example through food that we ingest if through the mouth. The main target is the digestive tract, lymph, and especially the lungs, which has a more fatal effect.
The lungs are surrounded by billions of epithelial cells, the outermost cells that line and protect organs. The coronavirus then attaches itself to the epithelial cell wall and injects its genetic material, the RNA.
The genetic material then instructs epithelial cells to produce new corona viruses. Epithelial cells then follow these instructions without knowing what is really happening.
Over time, these cells produce more and more new coronaviruses in them. Until when it is so much is produced, epithelial cells are given new instructions, it is self-destruction.
The epithelial cell wall will decay which then releases the corona virus in large quantities. These viruses will certainly infect other cells and repeat the same process. In this way, the number of infected cells multiplies rapidly.
In only about 10 days, millions of body cells will be infected and billions of coronaviruses will flood the body, especially in the lungs. At this point, the coronavirus has not been fatal, so the next target of the virus is the immune system.
Attack on the Immune System
After infecting the lung cells, the coronavirus will begin to infect the immune system cells which then makes the body’s immune system confused.
The coronavirus will trick the infected immune cells to make it overreact and confused. This will make it call for help—no other than immune cells—until it too much than it should.
There are two main types of immune cells that are confused by this virus, namely neutrophil cells and killer T cells.
The first, neutrophils, one of the immune system’s strongest weapons, are competent at killing, including killing our cells. When this cell reaches the location, it will try to kill as many infected cells as possible by releasing enzymes. Because of overreacting, the surrounding healthy cells were killed too.
Secondly, killer T cells, these cells can instruct infected cells to kill themselves. Because it has been confused by the coronavirus, these cells will then instruct healthy cells to commit suicide as well.
The more immune system cells that come, the more damage is caused, and the more healthy cells are killed by our own immune system.
This phase can occur to a very severe stage, which can create permanent damage and defects in the lungs. In the majority of cases, the immune system will slowly win this battle. Then prevent other body cells from being infected again. Then, the patient will recover.
Severe Corona Virus Infection
In general, the symptoms that occur are fever and cough with phlegm. But not a few also have severe symptoms, such as pneumonia.
In severe cases, billions of epithelial cells (protective cells) of the lungs will be damaged or die which means the lung’s protective tissue will be lost. This means that the lung tissue will be very easy to be infected by bacteria which initially didn’t matter. The patient can experience pneumonia, breathing difficulty, or even need a ventilator to be able to breathe.
The immune system has struggled from the start against the coronavirus, has used millions of anti-virus weapons to deal with it, and is running out of resources. Now, thousands of bacteria are starting to develop more in the lungs.
In conditions like this, of course, we can not only rely on our immune system, which is already struggling. If the bacteria have spread throughout the body, the possibility of death is quite high. This condition requires intense medical assistance.
Viruses are just a piece of DNA / RNA wrapped by protein. It is non-living things that can only live if it enters another living being.
Some of the most dangerous viruses in the world are targeting our body’s immune system, such as Ebola, HIV, and SARS-CoV-2 is no exception that is currently endemic.
If infected by the virus, over time our body’s immune system will weaken, and it will be very easy for viruses and other bacteria to attack and worsen symptoms and diseases. Things like this are generally fatal and many cause death.
But we will not experience it all if from the beginning we tried to prevent the virus from entering our bodies. We can maintain a minimum distance of 1 meter from other people, often wash our hands especially after doing activities outside the home, and improve our immune system for example by increasing the consumption of vitamin C.
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