How COVID-19 Infects Your Body

Photo by Adhy Savala on Unsplash

Covid-19 has practically changed our lives…even the entire world as we know it. The virus first appeared in Wuhan City, China in December 2019. It later was given the name SARS-CoV2. The disease is called Covid-19 and the virus is commonly called Corona.

Living in the UK, I watched how people changed with each passing lockdown. Yet, as lockdowns get stricter, people without masks continues. There are so many people oblivious of why Covid-19 is something they should be cautious of. I will try my best to give you the necessary knowledge regarding this horrendous virus.

What is a virus?

Before I explain how Covid-19 works, I will explain what a virus is in the first place. If you are confident that you know enough, skip ahead by all means.

A virus is a submicroscopic (hard to see even using a microscope) pathogen (infectious agent). It consists of genetic material inside a hull made out of a protein coat.

immunology.org

It has the sole purpose to infect a healthy cell(host) and make it forcefully replicate the original virus till in uses up all its resource…and die. When the cell dies, it basically explodes. After releasing thousands if not millions viruses, the same process continues until there are no host…or the immune cells come to the rescue!!!

Some examples of popular viruses are: Tobacco mosaic virus, Influenza virus, HIV and Herpes.

Takeaway: Better understanding of what a virus is.

How does Covid-19 infect us?

Knowing how it effects will give you a clear understanding and reason to why you should pay heed to this virus. The Covid-19 virus, like any other virus, infects a host cell to reproduce. It spreads from host to host mainly by droplet infection. It can infect you either airborne or if you touch someone who is ill and then your face(specifically nose or eyes).

It then travels inside your body(from your face). It is in your intestines, spleen or your lungs where it has the most dramatic effect. Even a few numbers of the virus can have a significant affect to your health.

The lungs are lined with epithelial cells, the borderline cells of your body, waiting to be infected. It connects to a specific receptor(ACE2 Receptor) in its host’s cell membrane to inject its genetic material.

Cells don’t have eyes or ears. It ignorantly executes these new instructions, to copy and reassemble the virus. It keeps on copying to a critical level until it just…self-destructs.

Now that thousands of copies of the virus is released, the same cycle happens until after 10 days when the lungs are engulfed by millions of infected cells. Now the main event starts. Your immune system

The immune system alert of this dangerous intruder, tries to get rid of rid. Your immune system, though it is powerful and protects you, it can also destroy you. It is kept under strict regulation by your body. But when it tries to eliminate the virus, the virus decides to infect your very immune system. This creates confusion.

Immune cells not having senses like us humans are controlled by information proteins called Cytokines. The virus makes infected immune cells to overreact and yell “Death to all!!!”.

Immune system being in a murderous frenzy, kills many healthy cells and waste resources. Neutrophiles, cells that release enzymes to destroy infected cells, ends up killing as many friends as enemies. T-Cells , on the other hand, cause cells to commit controlled suicide. Being confused as they are when infected, destroys many of our healthy cells.

More and more your immune cells arrive, the more your lungs get destroyed. talk about irony…

Unless your unfortunate enough to get permanent scars on your lungs and thus a risk of getting disabilities, your immune system gains control and wipes out the virus with a proper revolution.

Just when all seems to get better, the immune system being greatly weakened, leaves your body as free real estate for other pathogens. If Covid-19 was able to make a hole in your lungs’s protective lining, weak viruses can easily infect you and cause diseases like pneumonia and…kill you.

Common symptoms of Covid-19 would be high fever, new continuous cough and most distinctively, a loss or change in sense of smell or taste.

Take away: You are now more knowledgeable than most people regarding Covid-19.

So to conclude this, Covid-19 is nothing to laugh at. Make sure to take protective measure(more on that coming soon) so you can prevent yourself watching your loved ones die or the agony of feeling your lungs being stabbed by thousands of knives.

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Intishar Alam Misbahul

Intishar Alam Misbahul

Currently 17. Loves to learn. Doing AS level. Using medium to write easy-to-understand essays/stories regarding science and study tips.