With over 80,000 infected and 2,707 death, the total number of death for Coronavirus has definitely killed more people than SARS or MERS. There has been a debate among the online users about the seasonal flu against the Coronavirus. As comparison with the seasonal flu, about 0.05% – 0.1% of people who caught the flu have died from the virus according to the CDC data. However, the case fatality rate for the COVID-19 is still unclear but it appears to be higher than that of the seasonal flu. With the current data, the death rate for COVID-19 has been about 2%, approximately 20-40 times higher than the seasonal flu. Is it a valid comparison?
There are many obvious differences of COVID-19 from the seasonal flu virus. Firstly, COVID-19 is unknown to mankind previously. Basically, we do not understand how it gets mutated and transform to become more contagious or the process of viral transmission. We only knew that these Coronaviruses like SARS, MERS and COVID-19 are most likely to have a common ancestor in the bat population. Besides that, conventional antiviral drugs or flu medications work to reduce the duration of illness in the seasonal flu and helps symptomatically. Also, it provides a good protection or prophylaxis against those at risk of seasonal flu. Right now, with the COVID-19 in hand, scientists and doctors are combining the antiviral drugs or the experimental drug to know which one will be effective.
The World Health Organisation names the new coronavirus as COVID-19. It was provisionally known as 2019-nCoV or some people call it as Wuhan Virus or the China virus. It was a great move to avoid stigmatising a particular group, animal or location. Name changes, but the risk persists.
The 4-year-old patient is the first patient in Malaysia to have recovered from the virus, tested negative for the virus twice and then she was discharged. She was recovered without being prescribed with any special drugs or HIV drugs. The virus can eventually be overcome by a healthy immune system. How immune system kills and manages a viral illness?
When a patient infected with virus, our immune system will immediately responds to the threat. There are few ways on how our immune system will react on the virus, via cytotoxic immune cells which include immune T-cells, Natural killer cells to attempt to kill the virus. Just like a wave of army responding to incoming threat. With interferons, it works by forming immune protection against viruses. They interfere viral replication and acts like a messenger to alert and signal other immune cells to act against the virus. Besides, antibodies play a big role in our immune system as well. These specific antibodies will recognize and bind to the virus in order to eradicate the virus by a few methods. Human body is really sophisticated to allow us withstand infections on our own.
Vitamin C (a.k.a ascorbic acid), it is a water soluble vitamin that we frequently heard about. It is crucial in many vital functions of human body. In short, it acts as a potent antioxidant and as co-enzyme for biosynthesis and many enzymatic reactions. Vitamin C contributes to immune defense via both innate and adaptive immune system. They gather in phagocytic immune cells to enhance their capabilities like chemotaxis, phagocytosis and generation of reactive oxygen species in order to fight the viruses.
26th February 2020
SHINE health updates and warm reminder!