Get a grip on how the new coronavirus can do it, we most like to avoid: Contamination.

‘Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2’ (SARS-CoV-2).

this is the sound of the researchers of the official name of the tiny little virus, which in the course of recent weeks have turned up and down on our everyday lives.

But how can the intruder infect your body? Science.dk have made a list of how coronaviruses can infect and make you sick.

You’ve probably heard the basics; that the new coronavirus is transmitted through droplets, which are emitted when we sneeze, cough or talk.

“The primary source of infection is direct contact between people. But the virus can also be transmitted indirectly by touching a doorknob or other surface that has been infected because an infected person has touched or coughed out over it,” says Jan Pravsgaard Christensen, a professor in the infektionsimmunologi, University of Copenhagen, Science.dk.

You are however not sick, just because you’ve got the new coronavirus on the skin, for example on the hands, neck or feet.

the Virus must enter your body through your mucous membranes – typically your mouth, nose or eyes – and from there further into your respiratory tract.

When the virus penetrates into your cells, the immune system begin to fight them.

At first, it is our inborn (innate) immune system, which tries to combat the new coronavirus.

If you are lucky, the innate immune system even reach to combat the attack from the new corona virus before you get sick.

“If you are infected with a few virus particles, there is a chance that the innate immune system can manage on its own. One can well imagine that you will not get more viruses, than to the innate immune system can destroy it before there will be trouble,” says Jan Pravsgaard Christensen.

If the innate immune system managed to fight the new coronavirus, will the acquired (adaptive) immune system get on track.

The acquired immune system is a kind of force that is constantly being trained and taught to fight against specific types of virus, bacteria and other enemies that you encounter through life.

the Problem with the new coronavirus is, however, that there is talk about a new enemy, which none of us have met before.

Thankfully, the vast majority of people who are infected with the new coronavirus, have only mild symptoms. But in some cases the disease can be serious and life-threatening, especially if you are older or belong to one of the groups at particular risk.

A weakened immune system, which is slow on the uptake, can among other things be the cause, you may have serious lung damage of the new coronavirus, explains Jan Pravsgaard Christensen.

“In the period in which the virus grows and spreads in the cells, it may well stress some of your lungeceller, so they die. So if going for a long time, there will be many dead lungeceller, when the immune system finally comes to speed,” he explains and adds:

“When the acquired immune system comes on the field, the objective is to destroy all the cells that are infected, in order to beat the virusfabrikken out. It also results in tissue damage. So the more the virus, which has reached to spread in the lungs, the more damage can the immune system get to low in its fight to eradicate the virus.”

Fortunately, it is only a minority of patients become so sick of the new coronavirus that they get lung damage, he stresses.

the Researchers emphasizes that you can protect yourself – and others – from being infected with the uninvited virus by washing hands, keep distance, make clean, limit physical contact, and on the whole follow the instructions.

published in cooperation with the Science.dk

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