With the spread of novel coronavirus all over the world, both people and businesses have shuttered and the virus is something that should be feared. Though there are different viruses that have been known to infect humans, this has led to the worst pandemic in a century. You will have to conduct a PCR test in London and know if you have been infected with the disease. 

Deadly than the flu

Donald N. Forthal, MD, professor of medicine and molecular biology and biochemistry, and chief of infectious diseases at UCI School of Medicine has said, though scientists won’t know before testing becomes prevalent, COVID-19 might be nearly 10 times more deadly than the seasonal flu that can cause death in around 0.1% of the ones who have been infected.

Researchers do not have accurate numbers to know the exact percentage of deaths that might lead to viral infection as there are several many mild cases and deaths that have been unreported.

But Forthal anticipates the rate of mortality to be lower than what you are seeing in the hotspots all over the world after the data gets collected finally.

Michael J. Buchmeier, PhD, professor of infectious diseases at UCI School of Medicine, explains that this virus, though deadly, is believed to be as infectious as the seasonal flu, with one person infecting another group of people.

In comparison with measles, if one person infects 18 or chicken pox where one person infects 12, these two highly contagious diseases can be controlled through vaccination.

No one is immune

It is a kind of virus that had never been found earlier in the humans and so, no one can immune to it. It will spread easily from one person to another as influenza and can infect your upper respiratory system which makes it extremely risky as there is no vaccine available.

Though COVID-19 virus can be present in the upper airway which includes your nose and mouth, the infection might transmit through sneezes, coughs, puffing, huffing and loud talking. Performing a private COVID test in London will help to know if you are already having the disease. 

The infected people are unintentionally spreading the virus before they may even begin experiencing the symptoms. Some people might not face any symptoms at all.

Neither MERS nor SARS can spread easily and widely.

According to Buchmeier, this new virus “is capable of causing very severe disease.” 

Stickier than SARS-1

The virus that may lead to COVID-19 is somewhat similar to SARS and is known as SARS-CoV-2. It attaches easily to the same receptors as SARS-CoV-1 though it is stickier, according to Buchmeier which enables virus to enter cells quickly, have a firmer grasp and start spreading all over the body.

The virus may attack lower respiratory tract which is the lungs and the bronchial tubes that can cause pneumonia.

This will prompt an inflammatory response when your body tries to fight against the invader. For some people nearly 15%, the response of immune system begins a cyclical overreaction of the immune system known as a cytokine storm.

According to Forthal, “Cytokine production is a normal immune response to try to kill the virus.”  “Under normal circumstances, the response peaks early, clears the virus and helps produce antibodies and T cells specific for the virus. But in some COVID-19 patients, the cytokine response sticks around too long and too strongly.”

Forthal has also said, “You not only get severe damage to the lungs, which may or may not be directly attributable to the virus.” “But the cytokine storm also can contribute to coagulopathy [clot formation], kidney damage and heart damage.”

This is the reason why some people are falling sick or passing away. Researchers have found other coronaviruses incite same kind of cytokine overreactions.

Age, chronic conditions and sex increase risk factors

According to Forthal, the mortality rate increases with age having the highest case-fatality rates being observed in people who are above 70. “Children rarely have severe disease.”

Obesity and other chronic conditions such as diabetes, high pressure, underlying heart, lung and kidney disease can increase the risk of severe infection.

The occurrence of these diseases in older people who do not have much strength due to age and inability of some people with dementia with the symptoms they might experience add to the devastating impact that the virus is having in nursing and care homes.

Gender is another risk factor for COVID-19. Men are dying at a higher rate when compared to women. Though doctors do not still know about it, research has shown similar patterns of cytokine overreactions depending on the age and gender with other coronaviruses.

A reason for some hope

Buchmeier says, “Not everyone responds in the same way.” “The fact that children don’t typically have severe disease shows us that [our bodies] are capable of clearing this virus, if they don’t develop pneumonia.”

Forthal and Buchmeier, who are members of the UC Irvine Center for Virus Research, agree that remdesivir, a drug in the news at present and the subject of a UCI Health clinical trial, seems to be quite promising as a treatment for the deadly COVID-19. They are confident that the treatment will improve as both researchers and clinicians are gaining more experience about the disease with each passing day.

Though the work is going on at quick speed for developing a vaccine to protect against COVID-19, scientists have said about testing to map its spread and enable for its containment. With a private covid test for travel near me, you will know if you are a carrier of the deadly virus.