Who is this New Virus (COVID-19, 2019 Coronavirus)?
This is the moment that life finally slowed down. Do you imagine yourself three months ago, craving to stay at your sweet, warm home and have some self-family time? Here we go. But hold on, now we have another craving: Be healthy.
Some of us are in panic and but we all have common sense of fear of death. While we are facing the fourth horse of apocalypse the circumstances are different than in the past. We are more organized to follow precautions, social distance -thanks to twitter- and technology helps early detection and critical medical care to severe patients. Scientists are working to develop the drugs and vaccine that will prevent the devastating course around the world and long term consequences.
How our immune system fight with virus?
Although this is our first encounter with pandemic Coronavirus, our body has a programmed immune surveillance to fight with an unknown invader. Wow! Immune response divides into two phases: early and late response. Early phase happens in the first 5–7 days of viral infection and it leads to development of little proteins (cytokines) which will orchestrate viral specific response next two weeks (adaptive immunity). The memory cells will be also formed at the end the fight that triggers a rapid response during the following encounter with the virus. We are still prone to get infected throughout the pandemic multiple times as immunity is not permanent.
Why children have milder disease?
The numbers from Wuhan experience showed that children cases of COVID-19 have less severe disease than adult patients. Wow, that is good luck! Among 2143 pediatric patients in China- January, February data- only 6% had severe disease (18.5% in adults) and one child died at 14-year-old due to infection. This sounds reasonable as kids do not have enough immunity to exaggerate the inflammatory response. Because we know that, the part of the severe course of infection is related with out of control immune response of the body that was triggered by virus.
We can say that this virus is evolutionary inevitable. Cholera virus caused four pandemics in the past, Spanish flu killed 100 million people within 20 years in 1900s. Our ancestors already fought with previous pandemics like black death (plague), Spanish flu and cholera. We are the children of survivors- that is an evolutionary advantage for all of us.
- https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/cholera. Access date: 03.28.2020.
- https://www.aappublications.org/news/aapnewsmag/2020/03/16/coronavirus031620.full.pdf. Access date: 03/28/2020.