What Happens If You Caught the Coronavirus?
What Happens If You Caught the Coronavirus? This is sars-cov-2, it belongs to the family of coronaviruses named for the crown, like spikes on their surfaces, sars-cov-2 can cause covid-19 a contagious viral infection that attacks primarily your throat and lungs. What actually happens in your body when you contract the coronavirus? What exactly causes your body to develop pneumonia and how would a vaccine work?
The coronavirus must infect living cells in order to reproduce, let’s have a closer look inside the virus. Genetic material contains the information to make more copies of itself. A protein shell provides a hard protective enclosure for the genetic material as the virus travels between the people it infects, an outer envelope allows the virus to infect cells by merging with the cell’s outer membrane. Projecting from the envelope are spikes of protein molecules. Both a typical influenza virus and the new coronavirus use their spikes like a key to get inside a cell in your body, where it takes over the cell’s internal machinery, repurposing it to build the components of new viruses.
When an infected person talks, coughs, or sneezes, droplets carrying the virus may land in your mouth or nose and then move into your lungs. Once inside your body, the virus comes in contact with cells in your throat, nose, or lungs. One spike on the virus inserts into a receptor molecule on your healthy cell membrane like a key in a lock, this action allows the virus to get inside your cell. A typical flu virus would travel inside a sac made from your cell membrane to your cell’s nucleus that houses all its genetic material.
The coronavirus, on the other hand, doesn’t need to enter the host cell nucleus. It can directly access parts of the host cell called ribosomes. Ribosomes use genetic information from the virus to make viral proteins such as the spikes on the virus a surface. A packaging structure in your cell then carries the spikes in vessels which merged with your cells, outer layer, the cell membrane, all the parts needed to create a new virus gathered just beneath your cell’s membrane.
Then a new virus begins to be cut off from the cell’s membrane. Now, with the virus spreading in your body, how can you develop pneumonia symptoms for this? We’ll have to look into your lungs. Each lung has separate sections called lobes.
Normally, as you breathe, air moves freely through your trachea or windpipe, then through large tubes called bronchi, through smaller tubes called bronchioles, and finally into tiny sacs called alveoli. Your airways and alveoli are flexible and springy. When you breathe in each air, the sac inflates like a small balloon. And when you exhale, the sacs deflate. Small blood vessels called capillaries surround your alveoli.
Oxygen from the air you breathe passes into your capillaries, and then carbon dioxide from your body passes out of your capillaries into your alveoli so that your lungs can get rid of it. When you exhale, your airways catch most germs in the mucus that lines your trachea, bronchi, and bronchioles in a healthy body. Hair-like cilia lining the tubes constantly push the mucus and germs out of your airways where you might expel them by coughing. Normally, cells of your immune system attack viruses and germs that make it past your mucus and cilia and enter your alveoli.
However, if your immune system is weakened, like in the case of coronavirus infection, the virus can overwhelm your immune cells and your bronchioles and alveoli become inflamed as your immune system attacks the multiplying viruses.
The inflammation can cause your alveoli to fill with fluid, making it difficult for your body to get the oxygen it needs. You could develop lobar pneumonia where one lobe of your lungs is affected, or you could have bronchopneumonia that affects many areas of both lungs. Pneumonia may cause difficulty breathing, chest pain, coughing, fever and chills, confusion, headache, muscle pain, and fatigue. It can also lead to more serious complications. Respiratory failure occurs when your breathing becomes so difficult that you need a machine called a ventilator to help you breathe.
These are the machines that save lives and that medical device companies currently ramp up production for. Whether you would develop these symptoms depends on a lot of factors such as your age and whether you already have an existing condition. While this all sounds scary, the push to develop a coronavirus vaccine is moving at high speed. Studies of other coronaviruses led most researchers to assume that people who have recovered from a sars-cov-2 infection could be protected from reinfection for a period of time. But that assumption needs to be backed by empirical evidence, and some studies suggest otherwise. There are several different approaches for a potential vaccine against the coronavirus.
The basic idea is that you would get a shot that contains faint versions of the virus. The vaccine would expose your body to a version of the virus that is too weak to cause infection, but just strong enough to stimulate an immune response. Within a few weeks, cells in your immune system would make markers called antibodies, which would be specific for only the coronavirus or specifically its spike protein antibodies then attached to the virus and prevent it from attaching to your cells.
Your immune system then responds to signals from the antibodies by consuming and destroying the clumps of viruses. If you then catch the real virus at a later stage, your body would recognize it and destroy it. In other words, your immune system is now primed. Collecting evidence on whether this will be possible, safe, and effective is part of what’s taking researchers so long to develop a vaccine. It’s a race against time to develop a vaccine. Amid a pandemic, each step-in vaccine development usually takes months, if not years.
An Ebola vaccine broke records by being ready in five years. The hope here is to develop one for the new coronavirus in a record-breaking 12 to 18 months. While all of this will take time. Stay home if you can, to protect the most vulnerable. Don’t forget to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds and as often as possible now, what would happen if you didn’t do that for an entire year?
Well, that’s a story for another. What if. Hey there, Peter, here, I’m recording this in my basement today as we continue to self-isolate social distance. I hope you are, too. We want to say a special thanks to nuclease medical media today for those cool 3D animations. If you want to see more scientifically accurate medical animations head on over their channel to learn more about the human body conditions and illnesses and how we can treat them, you know, it’s the only science that’s going to get us through this.
What If You Stopped Sleeping?
Wake up. Are you late again? Sometimes we wish we never had to deal with this morning’s struggle, but what if you just never went to bed? What if you figured out how to keep yourself awake forever?
How long could the sleepless forever last? Could you even be productive without recharging every night? When would your friends start telling you to get some rest? And what exactly would happen to your body? This is what if and here’s what would happen if you stopped sleeping. How often have you needed just a few more hours to finish off a project, get ready for a date or enjoy your day off? If you took sleep out of your daily routine, you’d have all 24 hours of the day to do everything you never had time for.
What’re a few yards and some minor tiredness if it meant you never had to waste any more time lying in bed for no good reason? Turns out there are plenty of good reasons to sleep. The average person spends one-third of their life lying in bed. I shot snoring away. Sounds like a waste of valuable time, but not for your body. While you sleep, your body releases hormones and repairs tissues, replacing your old cells with new ones. If you worked out that day, you need a night of good sleep to let your muscles grow and your fat burn. So what happens if you don’t sleep? Not much. At first, after just 24 hours, you’d feel completely fine.
In fact, you’d feel better than fine. That’s because sleeplessness stimulates the mesolimbic pathway in your brain. This pathway would release dopamine and you’d feel happy and full of energy. But don’t be fooled by all that happiness. It’s not going to last long. Soon after reaching the 24-hour mark, all your reactions would slow down. Your brain would start to forget what you were doing. Outwardly, you’d appear to be drunk. Wait, where we’re going right now, what about two days without sleep?
At that point, your body would start shutting down. It would stop metabolizing glucose properly, leaving you with no energy supply. You’d start looking very pale. Your eyes would turn red and then more bad news. Your wrinkles would become more visible on day three. That’s when the real fun begins. Hallucinations. Starved of REM sleep, your brain would bring all your dreams and nightmares to life at around the 72-hour mark, you’d start breaking down your own protein, your muscles. So, say goodbye to all that muscle mass you worked so hard to build up.
Your body would keep using up all the energy sources. It could find glucose leftovers, your muscles, fat tissue. After about two weeks, your immune system would be so weak you could die from the common flu. Eventually, three weeks after your last sleep, you’d probably die of a heart attack. If you’ve got a little extra muscle or fat on your body, you could stay alive just a bit longer. But we don’t recommend anyone try this at home anyway.
So, grab yourself a pillow and take a siesta if it seems like you’re always tired. Make sure you’re getting the prescribed six to eight hours of sleep per night.
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