COVID-19, R U still there?

Background

COVID-19 has taught us to be more self-sufficient, patience, and more prepared for the next time when COVID-19’s family member would decide to come back to Earth and visit this beautiful creation again. Would like to learn more about COVID-19?

COVID-19 is the most recently discovered infectious disease caused by β (beta) coronavirus. It is a non-segmented positive-sense RNA virus. This new virus was unknown before the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019.

Although no concrete evidence has been established yet, the coronavirus is primarily transmitted through inhalation. Infected patients may experience mild systems such as, a sore throat, headache, fever, dry cough, shortness of breath, and fatigue. However, in severe cases, viruses attack on the lungs causing pneumonia. Air sacs in lungs known as alveoli, exchange oxygen with blood and transported throughout the body, and when the coronavirus attaches to these alveoli cells, they begin to replicate within the cells. When the immune system attempts to destroy the viruses, the action results in the inflammatory response, and causes fluid accumulation in the lungs. As the lungs are filled with fluid, the body’s available oxygen decreases, which can lead to organ injury and death.

Normally, seven days is the incubation period of this infection. After seven days B lymphocyte of our immune system starts to produce IgM antibody. Production of IgM antibody reaches to the peak level after 10 days of infection, and eventually disappears after 30 days. Similarly, after 12 days of infection, our immune system starts to produce IgG antibody. Peak production of IgG antibody reaches after 20 days and may remain for a long time.

Reverse transcriptase real time PCR (RT-qPCR) and rapid antibody tests are major diagnostic tools, which are now in use universally. RT-qPCR is a gold standard method, that can detect viruses from the first day to up to 25 days of viral onset whereas, IgM rapid antibody test is useful after 10 days to 30 days of viral onset. Similarly, IgG rapid antibody test is useful after 25 days of viral onset.

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