What is the virus and how does it act?
It’s like everyone knows a coronavirus. A virus works to invade our cells and turn them into factories. A virus comes in and then it pops out millions of cells. This virus is usually spread by drip infection. This means that when we cough it becomes an aerosol that spreads in the immediate area.
The longer a virus can stay in the air, the more contagious it is. For example, measles stay in the air for a very long time and is therefore very contagious.
This virus does not last as long in the air and therefore infects in the immediate area when we cough and stay in. It also infects if we get it on our hands and then pick in the nose or eyes.
Then it finds cells in the upper airways and sets in motion to make more viruses. Most, 80 percent, have a mild illness. About 15 percent get a more severe infection of the upper respiratory tract and may need hospital care.
A smaller proportion, 4-5 percent, become so ill that they need medical care, some need intensive care and some of them will die. Some get infections of the lower respiratory tract and it can also knock out some internal organs. Younger ones seem to tolerate the virus better. The elderly, and in combination with chronic diseases such as diabetes and COPD, can withstand worse.
Why is it worse than regular seasonal flu?
Seasonal flu affects a number of people each year, but not all. It circulates and is not completely harmless, but it is not as bad a virus as this one. Since this is a brand new virus and no immunity has been built up, it has the potential to infect everyone. There are now epidemiologists who say it may have hit 70 percent of the world’s population before this is over, but where the majority get a minor illness.
How long can the spread of infection last?
The risk is that it will be a very long process. First until the summer, then it will probably be a bit quieter when people go to summer cottages and do not meet as many people as they do when working. In August we want to meet again and then the prediction is that it will start again. We have to prepare for it to last all year or even longer, no one can say anything else.
Those who find it hysterical have gotten everything wrong. It is not enough to point out how important it is that we do not get too many cases at once. The more we slow down the spread of infection early, the more room we get. Then we can save a lot of human lives.