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Activity of covid19 :

By Ryna Shireen Sheriff , Dr Praveen Kumar Gupta, B S Rithu, Shruthi A, kauser banu and Sahana c.

corona virus enters the cell and starts the infection cycle
Image credits: ChemistryViews

This image shows a step by step procedure of how exactly the corona virus enters the host cell and starts the infection cycle. ACE2 (Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2) is an enzyme that is found in the ciliated epithelial cells in the upper and lower airway and in type II pneumocytes in the alveoli in the lower airway. Type II pneumocytes produce lung-lubricating proteins important for lung function. The spike protein binds to the ACE2 receptor. The virus then enters the cell body and releases its RNA. The virus RNA then uses the host cell to create new virus RNA and assemble new viral particles through translation, proteolysis and RNA replication. Post this, the new virus particles get released from the now infected host cell.

Diagnostics of Covid 19:

The symptoms of the SARS-CoV-2 infection at early stages of disease are
non-specific and hence cannot be used for diagnosis. The COVID-19 patients found to have symptoms such as fever, sore throat, cough, fatigue, sputum production and shortness of breath; most of these could be associated with other respiratory infections. At present, the most common methods used by global healthcare system for diagnosis of COVID-19 are

  • Nucleic acid testing, and
  • antibody testing.

Medical imaging can be used in severe cases.

Nucleic acid testing covid 19:

This diagnostic approach involves specific molecular techniques were in the nucleic acid is isolated from the biological respiratory samples (throat swab/ nasopharyngeal swab/ sputum/ endotracheal aspirates and bronchoalveolar lavage). Currently across the world they are using PCR COVID -19 diagnostic kits as the golden standard due to its high specificity in testing suspected population. Most of the PCR COVID 19 diagnostic kits which are available in market, target the presence RdRp gene of virus
in oral swabs collected from suspected population. As this technique can identify specific targets hence this method is considered as golden standard compared to other techniques.

Image credits : science

Treatment for Covid 19:

Currently there is no specific antiviral treatment is approved for COVID-19. And also, there is no vaccine available for SARS-CoV-2. Infected patients should receive supportive care to relieve symptoms. Based on the experience with SARS and MERS; antiviral drugs such as ribavirin,
lopinavir, ritonavir have been used. But the studies are still going on in this regard. Recent surveys show that most physicians consider hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) and azithromycin as the two most effective drugs against COVID-19.

Prevention for Covid 19 :

At the community level, people should maintain social distancing in crowded areas and avoid non-essential travel to places with ongoing transmission. Cleaning hands often, covering nose and mouth with mask while coughing and sneezing, seeking immediate medical attention if unwell. Last but not the least following health authority guidelines are important preventive measures of COVID-19.

Image credits: healthoregon. Org/coronavirus

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This article is not meant as a replacement for professional medical advice.

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