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This virus

Discussion in 'COVID-19' started by Notmyrealname, Oct 31, 2020.

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  1. Notmyrealname

    Notmyrealname DI Forum Luminary Highly Rated Poster Showcase Reviewer

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    I start by agreeing that what we know about this virus, the cause of Covid-19, is minimal to what we don't know. But I have summarised a very interesting [IMO] article from a reliable source and put some crucial parts in bold [So much of the article is pertinent that I ended up repeating most of it]:

    https://www.bbc.com/news/health-54648684

    "A simple virus has brought life as we know it to a screeching halt:

    We have faced viral threats before, including pandemics, yet the world does not shut down for every new infection or flu season. So what is it about this coronavirus? What are the quirks of its biology that pose a unique threat to our bodies and our lives?

    Master of deception:

    In the early stages of an infection the virus is able to deceive the body. Coronavirus can be running rampant in our lungs and airways and yet our immune system thinks everything is a-ok. "This virus is brilliant, it allows you to have a viral factory in your nose and feel completely well," says Prof Paul Lehner from the University of Cambridge.

    It behaves like a 'hit and run' killer:

    The amount of virus in our body begins to peak the day before we begin to get sick. But it takes at least a week before Covid progresses to the point where people need hospital treatment. "This is a really brilliant evolutionary tactic - you don't go to bed, you go out and have a good time," says Prof Lehner.

    .... the virus has moved on to the next victim long before we either recover or die. In stark terms, "the virus doesn't care" if you die, says Prof Lehner, "this is a hit and run virus". This is a massive contrast with the original Sars-coronavirus, back in 2002. It was most infectious days after people became ill, so they were easy to isolate.

    It's new, so our bodies are unprepared:

    In 2009 there were huge fears about H1N1, aka swine flu. However, it turned out to be no way near as deadly as anticipated because older people already had some protection. The new strain was similar enough to some that had been encountered in the past.

    There are four other human coronaviruses, which cause common cold symptoms. Prof Tracy Hussell from the University of Manchester, said: "This is a new one, so we don't think there's much prior immunity there."

    This lack of prior-protection is comparable to when Europeans took smallpox with them to the New World, with deadly consequences.

    Building an immune defence from scratch is a real problem for older people, as their immune system is slow off the mark. Learning to fight a new infection involves a lot of trial and error from the immune system. But in older age we produce a less diverse pool of T-cells - a core component of the immune system - so it is harder to find ones that can defend against Coronavirus.

    It does peculiar and unexpected things to the body:

    Covid starts off as a lung disease (even there it does strange and unusual things) and can affect the whole body.

    Prof Mauro Giacca, from King's College London, says many aspects of Covid are "unique" to the disease, indeed "it is different from any other common viral disease".

    He says the virus does more than simply kill lung cells, it corrupts them too. Cells have been seen fusing together into massive and malfunctioning cells - called syncytia - that seem to stick around.

    And Prof Giacca says you can have "complete regeneration" of the lungs after severe flu, but "this does not happen" with Covid. "It is quite a peculiar infection," he said.

    Blood clotting also goes strangely awry in Covid, with stories of doctors unable to get a line into a patient because it is immediately blocked with clotted blood.

    Clotting chemicals in the blood are "200%, 300%, 400% higher" than normal in some Covid patients, says Prof Beverly Hunt from King's College London. She told Inside Health: "Quite honestly, in a very long career, I've never seen any group of patients with such sticky blood."

    The virus can cause runaway inflammation in some patients, making the immune system go into overdrive, with damaging consequences for the rest of the body. [I recall @tuba-coma pointing this out here on the Forum in March/April]

    And we're fatter than we should be:

    Covid is worse if you are obese, as a generous waistline increases the risk of needing intensive care, or death. This is unusual. "Its very strong association with obesity is something we haven't seen with other viral infections. With other lung injuries, obese people often do better rather than worse," said Prof Sir Stephen O'Rahilly, from the University of Cambridge. Obese patients are more likely to have higher levels of inflammation in the body and proteins that can lead to clotting.

    [I think this learned article is a massive condemnation of those who early on declared this illness "no worse than seasonal flu"].
     
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    Last edited: Oct 31, 2020
  2. Toto

    Toto DI Senior Member

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    An article some time back said patients were coming in with blood oxygen levels as low as 20%. They were surprised the patient was walking, so I purchased a pulse oxymeter which they recommended. Even in the asymptomatic they found stripes and blotches in the lungs. I read one lady is waiting on a lung transplant so much of her lungs were destroyed and it's irreparable. Nice, plain English article.
     
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  3. DeputyDawg

    DeputyDawg DI Junior Member Infamous

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    • Personal attack. Point issued.
    This is "learned article" is news for you? Seriously? What rock have you been living under? The information contained in this article has been hashed and rehashed for months by writers on multiple news outlets worldwide. Oh ok, never mind, I see now what is going on, this is a BBC article, that explains everything.
     
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  4. OP
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    Notmyrealname

    Notmyrealname DI Forum Luminary Highly Rated Poster Showcase Reviewer

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    A 'rock' called being an Honours graduate in virology.

    I think this article, whether from the BBC or whomsoever, excellently correlated information which may have been published already but is very scattered. Articles such as the one I used put information together from various sources to save people doing hours of online research and if a person does not know what to seek then they will never find it. It seems that would not apply to you as you already know it ALL.

    Btw, I wrote this to inform those who are interested. :smile:
     
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  5. Philpots

    Philpots DI Senior Member Restricted Account

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    And I thought you did a good job putting it all together.
     
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  6. jimf

    jimf DI Member Showcase Reviewer

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    This virus is so much worse than other corona viruses because it there is political benefit in it.
    As soon as that is over so shall the virus be (for the vast majority of us).
     
  7. Philpots

    Philpots DI Senior Member Restricted Account

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    I am certain that once the election is over in the USA the virus will continue to rage unless someone takes control, reduces the spread until the vaccine can be introduced promperly. Then we shall see the end to it hopefully. Certainly not because some politician has benefited from it and has decided enough is enough. As for the Philippines, I believe politics has nothing to do with it and also the same holds for rest of the world.
     
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  8. Toto

    Toto DI Senior Member

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    The virus doesn't care about politics at all, it's just replicating. It likes cool and cold, overcast blocking out UV, low humidity, dense population areas, AC buildings, crowds, poor inside ventilation etc. That's why my home country is positioned poorly. We get some breaks here.
     
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  9. OP
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    Notmyrealname

    Notmyrealname DI Forum Luminary Highly Rated Poster Showcase Reviewer

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    Nor should we too much as the end result is the same - we get politicians!
     
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  10. eskirvin

    eskirvin DI Forum Adept Blood Donor Veteran Navy

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    That is very interesting data. Thank you for posting it. Despite all the potentially new and interesting things it has done or may do, it is still a small portion of the overall world deaths, as reported. It is hard not to note that the increased risk factors for this disease are basically the increased risk factors for just about every disease.

    Should people avoid it if possible in the normal course of their lives? Hell yes! If your risk of death from this disease exceeds your risk from other avenues, isolate yourself and stay healthy. Every human being is unique and should assess their risk themselves to best fit their lifestyle. Hopefully this dead horse is harboring no disease.
     
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