‘Something we’ve never seen before’

Scientists continue to be baffled by the coronavirus as its moved rapidly around the world and exhibited itself in now a myriad of ways…affecting all age groups…and not necessarily in consistent patterns. And besides the lungs it seems to infect and damage many of the bodies major organs. There’s never been a virus like it.

The new coronavirus has spread like wildfire, killed — and spared — people of all ages and all health conditions, baffled doctors, defied guidance and conventional wisdom, and produced an unprecedented array of symptoms.

“This gets into every major biological process in our cells,” said Nevan J. Krogan, a molecular biologist at the University of California, San Francisco, who has studied HIV, Ebola, Zika, dengue and other viruses over the last 13 years.

“At the molecular level, it’s something we’ve never seen before, and then look at what it does to the body — the long list of symptoms — we’ve never seen that before.”

At first, the virus was thought to be mostly a risk to older adults and people with chronic illnesses; its primary point of attack, the lungs. Then 30- and 40-years-olds with the virus began dying of strokes. Recently, a small number of infected children have died of a mysterious illness resembling Kawasaki disease.

Symptoms of COVID-19 range from fever, coughing and shortness of breath to the loss of smell and taste and the angry red swelling that has come to be known as “COVID toes.” Studies have found that damage from SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the disease COVID-19, isn’t limited to the lungs; it can include the heart, liver, kidneys, gastrointestinal system and bowels.

“There are very few viruses that are more contagious than this one,” agreed Mark Schleiss, an investigator for the Institute of Molecular Virology at the University of Minnesota.

A single COVID-19 patient spreads the disease to a median of 5.7 people, making it twice as contagious as the 1918 Spanish flu, according to a report in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases.

I have no other words right now…except this…I’ll believe the science.


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