In recent days we have been experiencing serious problems with so-called coronavirus. But what is it, really? In the media this term refers to virus SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2), a kind of virus that causes disease known as COVID-19. The common name is a reference to the family of viruses it belongs to, Coronaviridae (Coronaviruses), which are recognized by their characteristic “crown” made out of proteins that encircle them.
COVID-19 is a disease that mainly affects respiratory tract, as the most often symptoms are dry cough and shortness of breath, accompanied by fever and overall fatigue. In more severe cases other symptoms may include pneumonia and some organ failures, usually connected with kidneys. The signs of the disease are usually seen in the first 5 days, but sometimes may go unseen for 2 weeks.
While the origin is unknown, most of the researches point out that the coronaviruses are found in bats, due to their close genetic similarities. Most of the cases come from mainland China (around 80 %), where it was first discovered in Wuhan. In humans the virus transfer usually happens via respiratory droplets (coughing and sneezing), but it can also infect bats and pangolins.
Mikołaj Lewczuk, 1e Liceum