It has been almost two years since the COVID-19 has infected our lives. But still, many of us don’t know about the coronaviruses and even the virus. Viruses are not bacteria; they are entirely different from each other. They are similar in the sense that both are microscopic organisms. It is necessary to have sound knowledge of these microbes for a better understanding of COVID-19.
What are viruses?
Viruses are infectious agents replicating only inside the body of their host organism. The host can be any living organism such as human beings, animals, plants, bacteria, and other microorganisms. They can survive outside the host body, but they cannot replicate outside; therefore, they need a host to reproduce.
Viruses are a diverse group of microorganisms containing DNA or RNA as their genetic material. The genetic material is protected inside by a protein covering known as capsid and an outside lipid envelope.
They occur in a variety of shapes for instance: spherical, elongated and circular, etc.
What is Coronavirus?
Coronaviruses, cause of COVID-19 , belong to a family of viruses having RNA as their genetic material. The term corona in coronavirus is a derivative of Latin, which means Crown. It is because the virus appears crown-shaped under an electron microscope. The crown-shaped appearance is due to the presence of spikes on the surface of the coronavirus.
Coronaviruses are not new; they were first identified in the 1920s when acute respiratory syndrome of domesticated chickens emerged in North America. While in human beings, coronavirus was discovered in the 1960s.
Variants of Coronavirus
Coronaviruses occur in different variants types. The most common variant types are alpha(B.1.1.7) beta(B.1.351),gamma(P.1), and delta(B.1.617.2).The alpha variant formerly known as the U.K variant, has spread to more than 50 countries. The beta variant was identified in South Africa, and the gamma variant in Brazil has spread to more than ten countries. While the delta variant is identified in India and is spreading rapidly and concerns are rising regarding the delta variant.
Infections of coronavirus
Common cold, Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) are the most common infections of coronaviruses.
What is COVID-19?
It is a contagious respiratory disease caused by SARS-CoV-2( Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2).SARS-CoV-2 belongs to the family of coronaviruses, identified for the first time in 2019.
COVID-19 shows variety in symptoms depending upon the severity and time of infection. Some of the common symptoms of covid are:
- Difficulty in breathing as it’s a respiratory disease
- Loss of smell and taste
- Restlessness or Anxiety
- Respiratory failure
Symptoms do not appear at the onset of infection. They appear after 14 days because it is the incubation time required by the virus to grow. In rare cases, people might develop earlier symptoms.
Spread of the Disease
It is a contagious disease; therefore, it can spread from person to person via touch or contact. It spreads through the air droplets contaminated with virus particles. The transmission can also occurs through body fluid such as the eye, nose, and mouth on coming across the infected person.
Control Of COVID-19
The only way to get protection against COVID-19 is to maintain a safe distance of 6 feet and wearing a mask. As vaccines are available, so it is better to get vaccinated earlier than getting caught by COVID-19.
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