Body parts are more sensitive Where Corona virus can enter your body

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hospital of Rescind, Northern Italy, March 10, 2020. (Claudio Furman/Presser via AP)

The coronavirus pandemic originated in China in late 2019 as a cluster of mysterious cases of pneumonia.

The culprit was found to be a new type of virus, now called severe respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, or SARS-Cov-2.

The virus, and the disease it causes — COVID-19 — is fatal to a small percentage of the people it affects. Most of the danger is related to pneumonia, or an inflammation of the lungs caused by infection, although there is still much uncertainty about how the viral infection spreads and progresses in the body.

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The early symptoms are usually a cough, fever, and shortness of breath, and look a lot like the flu or common cold. Symptoms appear 2-14 days after exposure, the Centers for Disease Control said.

The virus circulates through droplets in the air spread by coughing or sneezing and enters the body through the mouth, eyes or nose. It can remain viable on surfaces for hours to days and may be able to enter the lungs directly when inhaled.

After entering the body, the virus spreads to the back of the nasal passage and to mucous membranes in the throat, attaching to the body’s cell receptors.

The viral particles hook onto the outer walls of the host’s cells, the virus’s genetic material breaches the cell membrane, and it then hijacks the cell into making more copies of the virus. The virus copies proliferate, break out of the cell, and infect other cells in the body. A single cell can churn out millions of copies of the virus before it dies.

Into the lungs

The virus then moves from the back of the throat down the bronchial tubes toward the lungs, according to a report from The New York Times based on interviews with leading experts in infectious diseases.

The infection can then reach the lungs, causing inflammation in their mucous membranes and damaging their air sacs. The inflammation hampers the lungs’ ability to oxygenate the blood and remove carbon dioxide from the bloodstream.

Workers wearing protective gear disinfect as a precaution against the new coronavirus at the subway station in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, March 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Lee Jun-man)

The inflammation in the lungs, and their reduced efficacy, can cause them to fill with fluids, pus, and dead cells, and cause an infection, leading to pneumonia.

Some people who are infected have difficulty breathing and require a ventilator, and for others, the lungs become so inundated with fluids that even with intervention, they die.

People suffering from pneumonia are also at a heightened risk for secondary viral and bacterial infections.

Pneumonia caused by the coronavirus appears to be more severe than most cases of the disease, and affects a greater portion of the lungs, experts told The Guardian newspaper. Pneumonia is usually caused by a bacterial infection, which can be treated with antibiotics.

The COVID-19 lung infection appears to start on the outer parts of the sides of the lung, then moves to more central areas, including the upper respiratory tract and trachea.

The virus can also enter the bloodstream, and may be able to infect the gastrointestinal system, causing symptoms like diarrhea and indigestion. The infection can also directly damage organs including the heart, kidneys, and liver, and cause bone marrow to become inflamed. Small blood vessels may also be vulnerable to inflammation.

The body’s own immune response to the infection can cause inflammation and organ malfunction. It is still unclear if the brain is affected.

The Centers for Disease Control said the virus has been detected in blood and stool specimens, but it is unclear whether it can spread through any bodily fluids.

There are at least six other kinds of coronavirus that can infect humans. Some cause colds, while others caused the SARS and MERS outbreaks. The SARS-Cov-2 strain is believed to have originated in bats.

Patients lie on beds at one of the emergency structures that were set up to ease procedures at the Rescind hospital, northern Italy, March 12, 2020. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Health experts recommend regular hand washing to limit exposure. The soap effectively destroys the virus when it is outside the body because it dissolves the virus’s lipid bilayer, or its outer membrane made of fat, causing the viral particles to fall apart. Hand sanitizer and alcohol products are less effective than soap in combating the virus.

hospital of Rescind, Northern Italy, March 10, 2020. (Claudio Furman/Presser via AP)

The coronavirus pandemic originated in China in late 2019 as a cluster of mysterious cases of pneumonia.

The culprit was found to be a new type of virus, now called severe respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, or SARS-Cov-2.

The virus, and the disease it causes — COVID-19 — is fatal to a small percentage of the people it affects. Most of the danger is related to pneumonia, or an inflammation of the lungs caused by infection, although there is still much uncertainty about how the viral infection spreads and progresses in the body.

Get The Times of Israel’s Daily Edition by email and never miss our top stories

The early symptoms are usually a cough, fever, and shortness of breath, and look a lot like the flu or common cold. Symptoms appear 2-14 days after exposure, the Centers for Disease Control said.

The virus circulates through droplets in the air spread by coughing or sneezing and enters the body through the mouth, eyes or nose. It can remain viable on surfaces for hours to days and may be able to enter the lungs directly when inhaled.

After entering the body, the virus spreads to the back of the nasal passage and to mucous membranes in the throat, attaching to the body’s cell receptors.

The viral particles hook onto the outer walls of the host’s cells, the virus’s genetic material breaches the cell membrane, and it then hijacks the cell into making more copies of the virus. The virus copies proliferate, break out of the cell, and infect other cells in the body. A single cell can churn out millions of copies of the virus before it dies.

Who is most at risk?

Over 60,000 people have recovered from the virus, at the time of this writing. The World Health Organization says about 80% of people recover without any treatment from specialists, and about one in six become seriously ill.

Older people and those with underlying health problems are the most vulnerable. The immune system tends to weaken with age, even in healthy and active people.

The risk from coronavirus starts to increase for people who are over 60 and is heightened more for those over 80. Longtime smokers are likely more susceptible to a serious infection due to their damaged lungs.

According to the World Health Organization, people with mild illness recover in about two weeks, while those with more severe ailments who survive may take three to six weeks to rebound.

Worldwide, there have been over 134,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and over 5,600 deaths since it first emerged in China in December, according to AFP figures on March 14.

The WHO has estimated that the virus will kill around 3.4% of patients.

Various reports quoted by the Associated Press have estimated the fatality rate from less than 1% to as high as 4% among cases diagnosed so far, depending on location.

An official from the Centers for Disease Control estimated that in the US, between 0.25% and 1% of patients would die.

The World Health Organization has declared the virus a pandemic and warned, also on March 14, that it was “impossible” to know when it would peak.

As of this writing, there have been 143 confirmed coronavirus cases in Israel, with three people in serious condition. There have not been any deaths from the virus. Some 35,000 Israelis have entered quarantine.

Israel has taken a number of stringent measures to curb the spread of the virus, including banning public gatherings of over 100 people and closing schools and universities, with stricter measures likely to follow.

All Israelis returning from overseas are required to quarantine at home for 14 days. Non-Israeli nationals were barred from entering the country as of Thursday at 8 p.m. unless they can demonstrate an ability to self-quarantine for two weeks.

The virus is spread through droplets transmitted into the air from coughing or sneezing, which people nearby can take in through their nose, mouth or eyes. The viral particles in these droplets travel quickly to the back of your nasal passages and to the mucous membranes in the back of your throat, attaching to a particular receptor in cells, beginning there.

Coronavirus particles have spiked proteins sticking out from their surfaces, and these spikes hook onto cell membranes, allowing the virus’s genetic material to enter the human cell. That genetic material proceeds to “hijack the metabolism of the cell and say, in effect, ‘Don’t do your usual job. Your job now is to help me multiply and make the virus,’” said Dr. William Schrieffer, an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville.

As copies of the virus multiply, they burst out and infect neighboring cells. The symptoms often start in the back of the throat with a sore throat and a dry cough.

The virus then “crawls progressively down the bronchial tubes,” Dr. Schrieffer said. When the virus reaches the lungs, their mucous membranes become inflamed. That can damage the alveolar or lung sacs and they have to work harder to carry out their function of supplying oxygen to the blood that circulates throughout our body and removing carbon dioxide from the blood so that it can be exhaled.

“If you get swelling there, it makes it that much more difficult for oxygen to swim across the mucous membrane,” said Dr. Amy Compton-Phillips, the chief clinical officer for the Providence Health System, which included the hospital in Everett, Wash., that had the first reported case of coronavirus in the United States, in January.

The swelling and the impaired flow of oxygen can cause those areas in the lungs to fill with fluid, pus and dead cells. Pneumonia, an infection in the lung, can occur.

Some people have so much trouble breathing they need to be put on a ventilator. In the worst cases, known as Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome, the lungs fill with so much fluid that no amount of breathing support can help, and the patient dies.

Dr. Stu-Yuan Xian, a professor of pathology at the University of Chicago School of Medicine has examined pathology reports on coronavirus patients in China. He said the virus appears to start in peripheral areas on both sides of the lung and can take a while to reach the upper respiratory tract, the trachea, and other central airways.

Dr. Xiao, who also serves as the director of the Center For Pathology and Molecular Diagnostics at Wuhan University, said that pattern helps explain why in Wuhan, where the outbreak began, many of the earliest cases were not identified immediately.

The initial testing regimen in many Chinese hospitals did not always detect infection in the peripheral lungs, so some people with symptoms were sent home without treatment.

“They’d either go to other hospitals to seek treatment or stay home and infect their family,” he said. “That’s one of the reasons there was such a widespread.

Coronavirus: How eyes may play a role in its spread

Our eyes might play an important role in the spread and prevention of the new corona-virus outbreak seen throughout the world.

For example, a Peking University physician believes he may have contracted the coronavirus while not wearing eye protection when treating patients. Medical officials, though, say while this is possible, it may be unlikely.

To cut your personal risk of contracting the new coronavirus, avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands. It is the mucous membranes (membranes that line various cavities in the body) that are most susceptible to transmission of the virus.

What is coronavirus?

Reports of a new coronavirus (also referred to as COVID-19) first emerged in late December 2019 in Wuhan, China. 

Coronaviruses are a group of common viruses. Some affect only animals (such as bats, cats, camels, and cattle), while others also affect people, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

COVID-19 can trigger ailments as minor as the common cold, or more consequential such as bronchitis, pneumonia, and kidney failure. The most severe cases may be life-threatening. This is the seventh known type of coronavirus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

How is the new coronavirus related to your eyes?

Patients who have contracted the new coronavirus may have ocular symptoms.

Conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the membrane covering the eyeball. It is often referred to as “pink eye.” Conjunctivitis often presents as an infected/red, “wet and weepy” eye.

Viral conjunctivitis is known to present with upper respiratory infections (colds, flus, etc.) and maybe a symptom of the COVID-19 virus. A recent study of hospitals across China, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, found “conjunctiva congestion” or red, infected eyes in 9 of 1,099 patients (0.8%) with a confirmed diagnosis of coronavirus.

A study in The Journal of Medical Virology of 30 patients hospitalized for COVID-19 had only one patient diagnosed with conjunctivitis. Based on this information, the occurrence of conjunctivitis is low.

The relationship between the transmission of the corona-virus and your eyes is complicated.

It’s thought that COVID-19 spreads from person to person mainly through airborne “respiratory droplets” produced when someone coughs or sneezes, much like the flu virus spreads, the CDC says. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby, and possibly be inhaled into the lungs. 

Medical experts are unsure whether someone can contract this virus by touching a surface or object, such as a table or doorknob, that has OVID -19 on it and then touching their mouth, nose or possibly their eyes.

Peking University respiratory specialist Wang Guangdong believes he contracted COVID-19 when he came into contact with patients at health clinics in China. 

Wang reported that his left eye became inflamed afterward, followed by a fever and a buildup of mucus in his nose and throat. He subsequently was diagnosed with the new coronavirus.

According to the South China Morning Post, Wang thinks the virus entered his left eye because he wasn’t wearing protective eyewear.

Dr. Jan Evans Patterson, professor of medicine and pathology in the Long School of Medicine’s infectious diseases division at UT Health San Antonio, confirms that a scenario like Wang’s could potentially happen.

In Wang’s situation, she says, respiratory droplets from an infected person might have reached his eyes or other mucous membranes.

Generally, though, the transmission of COVID-19 comes with so many unknowns that it’s “plausible but unlikely” to contract it through hand-to-eye contact, says Dr. Stephen Thomas, chief of infectious diseases at SUNNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, New York. 

How contagious is the new coronavirus?

Currently, it’s not known how “easily or sustainably” the virus spreads from person to person, according to the CDC.

Many large gatherings and events have been canceled or postponed as a public health measure to contain the spread of the new coronavirus. U.S. health officials have implemented these emergency measures as a best practice to contain the transmission of the virus.

Schools have canceled classes and switched to online courses, and sports leagues and museums have closed as a precaution to avoid community spread.

What are the symptoms of the new coronavirus?

Symptoms of COVID-19 include a mild to severe respiratory illness accompanied by a fever, cough and breathing problems, according to the World Health Organization. Other symptoms include runny nose, sore throat, and headache.

Most people develop only mild symptoms. But some people, usually those who are older or have other medical complications, develop more severe symptoms, including pneumonia, which can be fatal.

Symptoms normally show up two to 14 days after someone has been exposed to the virus.

How is COVID-19 diagnosed?

Health care professionals diagnose the coronavirus through lab tests of respiratory or blood samples or other bodily fluids.

Is there a vaccine or treatment for the new coronavirus?

So far, no vaccine or antiviral treatment has been identified. Therefore, the best method for limiting the spread of this virus is to quickly isolate people who have it (or are presumed to have it if they’ve been exposed to it) before they infect others, the Harvard Business Review says.

How can you cut your risk of contracting coronavirus?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has established a site with the most up-to-date information related to the coronavirus outbreak.

The CDC’s recommended steps to prevent illness include:

Clean your hands often

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, eaten, used the restroom, blowing your nose, coughed or sneezed.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth as much as possible, but especially with unwashed hands.

Reduce your exposure

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home if you’re sick — except to get medical care.

Cover coughs and sneezes

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
  • Throw used tissues in the trash.
  • Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Wear a face mask that covers your mouth and nose if you are sick.

If you are NOT sick: You do not need to wear a face mask unless you are caring for someone who is sick (and they are not able to wear a face mask). Face masks may be in short supply and they should be saved for health care workers, people who are sick and caregivers.

Clean and disinfect surfaces

Current evidence suggests that the novel coronavirus may remain viable for hours to days on surfaces made from a variety of materials, the CDC reports. Cleaning of visibly dirty surfaces followed by disinfection is a best practice measure for the prevention of COVID-19 and other viral respiratory illnesses in households and community settings.

At least some corona virus can potentially remain viable — capable of infecting a person — for up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to three days on plastic and stainless steel, The Washington Post  reports, citing research  by a laboratory that is part of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease

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