COVID 19 PANDEMIC FACTS AND CONTROVERSY
Most probable Reasons and explanations to most doubts and questions arising so far in COVID 19 PANDEMIC.
The virus is only 100 days old and we still have lots of questions.
During incubation period before any symptoms start showing up , person starts being infectious 2 days before he/she get a fever or other symptoms.
Earlier , it was suspected that people were infectious throughout the whole incubation period while some group argued that they were not infectious at all during that period.
RELAPSE AND REINFECTION-
In south Korea , there is report of people getting reinfection with symptoms of fever or flu after 5 to 10 days of getting discharged. Therefore , patients are testing positive , then negative , then negative again . There could be two reason :
A. Relapse – when virus gets treated , symptoms go away and then patients test become negative. But it comes back again.
Reason – This happens because the number of virus copies in the body becomes so low that it cannot be detected. Usually we need 3000 copies of virus in order to detect . Thus, it means that virus was never completely gone from our body.
B. Reinfection- when we completely get rid of the virus but we get infected again by someone else again.
WHY RELAPSE AND REINFECTION IF OUR BODY DEVELOPS ANTIBODIES?
It is still not conclusive , but studies have come which shows that after we get infected with Covid 19 , our body normally starts producing antibodies by end of first week.
* Recent research studies on monkey infected with Covid 19 shows the support of antibodies preventing reinfections.
In the case of relapse : The number of virus copies came down and then came up again causing symptoms to come back . ( * reasons not explained on what is causing that.)
– If external forces like medication help suppresses the virus untill no symptoms , they will be discharged . But after discharge at home , virus could start replication again and person could get symptoms again . These relapse cases seem to come when your own immune system cannot eradicate virus by itself.
– So just because Covid patient are discharged does not mean virus is gone , it could be that medication is merely suppressing it. Virus can multiply again.
HOW LONG DOES VIRUS STAY
- In human corpses body – Cannot test for that. They have to take account of temperature , humidity, and weather conditions.
- From stool test, longest period shown is upto 26 days, but still not conclusive.
When a person dies , the bacteria inside body will decay the body parts quickly. So if bacteria is faster than virus in taking over, then virus cannot last long because it cannot survive long outside of a living cell. As a result , it could die in a couple of days.
ARE YOUNG AGE AND HEALTHY GROUP VULNERABLE ?
Young people can still die from the virus. Young people can still end up in critical conditions . The sooner you get treated , the higher your chance of recovering.
Reasons – There is something called “cytokine storm” where a perfectly healthy young person’s immune system overreacts when they get the virus , and the pneumonia can lead to inflammations all over the body and even death.
– The H5N1 avian flu infected 18 people in HK and 6 died. All 6 were healthy people.
HOW DOES CYTOKINE STORM HAPPEN ?
The fundamental goal of immune system is to protect your body from external agents like bacteria and viruses by attacking them. Imagine cytokine as bullet. Our lymphatic and immune system are shooting these bullet at the virus.
Now if cytokine only attacks the virus , is the ideal situation. But sometimes it may overreacts and damages not only the virus but our own lung tissues and other body organs. This is the outcome of cytokine storm.
So probable explanation for young people are that their body is so active that they overreacts to the virus and their attacks are so excessive , it leads to side effects.
HOW TO PREDICT CYTOKINE STORM ?
No way to predict right now.
ANY CO-RELATIONS BETWEEN BLOOD GROUPS AND COVID 19 ?
This is a report/thesis from china primarily from patients data of Wuhan which said there were more A blood group patients than O group. therefore A must be more susceptible than O. It is a speculation but not conclusive data.
HOW LONG IS SOCIAL DISTANCING ADVISED ?
The virus is only 100 days old now and we still have lots of question. It is still not known for how many months it will take untill virus is completely out of our system.
In South Korea , longest case so far from patient got diagnosed untill now is 52 days.
But the duration could vary especially for people who have low immune systems.
HOW TO BOOST IMMUNITY ? DOES FLU VACCINES WORK ?
– Flu vaccines don’t work.
– To have immunity against COVID 19 , we need to have specific neutralizing antibodies. If we have those specific antibodies , that only means we have immunity.
– But most people don’t have those antibodies unless we have been infected or are currently fighting it off right now.
HOW EFFECTIVE ARE COTTON MASKS ?
– In theory , a mask is supposed to protect from droplet of a size 5 microns or bigger. And those droplets can penetrate cotton masks.
– But in the end , cotton mask is better than nothing but nothing as effective as the medical grade masks like triple layered and N 95 masks.
– For KF80 masks , performance test were done when reused after washing. Its efficiency dropped by 1/3rd . so it was proven that its protection efficiency dropped by 30%.
WHAT CAUSES THE LIFESPAN OF VIRUS TO DIFFER BETWEEN DIFFERENT SURFACES OTHER THAN TEMPERATURE AND HUMIDITY ?
– Depends on characteristics of the materials. The virus can live long on a hard surface like a wooden table or stainless steel, but on fabric or paper, it will die quickly. This is because on fabric or paper , it gets absorbed and dries out quickly.
On hard surfaced materials , the droplet will not get absorbed so it will survive longer. For example , on phone surfaces , it could last longer.
CAN AHUMAN INFECT ANOTHER ANIMAL ?
– Recently , a dog in Hong Kong got infected and passed away.
– There’s another news case report where tiger got the virus too in New York.
– So yes , it can be passed to other animals.
WHAT ARE THE TREATMENT FOR COVID 19?
At present datas on treatment regimen of drugs against COVID 19 , being new strain of virus , are limited. All these drugs are totally medical science domain and it should not be taken without Doctor’s advice as this drugs has adverse side effects.
(a) DRUGS – Hydroxychloroquine and Azithromycin.
Antivirals like Lopinavir – Ritonavir and Ramdesevir.
In India , based on experience of H1N1 (swine flu) , antiviral Oseltamavir are also being evaluated.
(b) Convalescent plasma therapy. Plasma therapy uses the antibodies found in the plasma of blood of people who have recovered from an infection ( or convalesced), to treat patients who are infected. It is in a experimental procedure stage for Covid 19 patients.
Disclaimer : The answer and explanations in this page are based on limited evidence , Covid medical experts opinion and news reports as available now. As new evidences and explanations accumulates , some of the explanations and recommendations may change. Users should should follow their own latest Government regulations and advisories.