What is Coronavirus and Covid 19?

•COVID-19 is the disease that is caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus which belongs to the Coronavirus family

• SARS-CoV-2 stands for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and CoV for coronavirus

• COVID-19 stands for Coronavirus Disease and 19 is from the year 2019 when it was first seen

•Coronaviruses may cause illness in animals or humans and they are responsible for causing infections ranging from the common cold to more severe disease such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) which have been responsible for two outbreaks during the last twenty years

•SARS-CoV-2 virus is the most recently discovered coronavirus and has now affected many countries globally

•because of the global spread and the substantial number of people affected, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared COVID-19 as a pandemic on 11/03/2020 (Pan (all) demos (people))

What is a virus?

•viruses are much smaller than bacteria and consist of a small amount of either DNA or RNA surrounded by a protein coat called a capsid

•viruses cannot replicate themselves, but need to seek out the replication mechanism contained within a host cell•

•examples of vaccine preventable viral diseases include measles, mumps, rubella, influenza, hepatitis A and B

•Influenza viruses, which are RNA viruses, are constantly mutating into slightly different forms, which is why we need to produce and give different flu vaccines every year

•SARS-CoV-2 is an RNA virus

•the key parts of the coronavirus are the RNA and the spike proteins

•the RNA is surrounded by an envelope which has different roles in the life cycle of the virus. These may include the assembly of new virus and helping new virus to leave the infected cell•

•the spike proteins (S) are anchored into the viral envelope and form a crown like appearance, like the solar corona, hence the name coronavirus. The spike proteins attach to the target cell and allow the virus to enter it

•the RNA is inside the envelope and acts as a template so that once it is inside the host cell, the coronavirus can replicate itself and be released into the body•

•the spike protein and the RNA have been used to develop and make different vaccines to protect against SARS-CoV-2


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