COVID 19: Antivirus definition
To figure out how to treat coronavirus, we need to understand the basic function, behavior and definition of virus and antivirus.
What is a virus?
Virus is a Latin word. The literal meaning of virus is “slimy liquid” or in other word “poison”. It is a group of microscopic, non-living “nucleic acid molecule” with a protein coat all over it. It is an infectious agent that can multiply in living cells.
Antivirus or antiviral drugs are a class of medication that inhibits the viral DNA synthesis, thus suppressing its ability to replicate and multiply.
Antivirus are generally custom designed to specific virus. The primary objective given to an antivirus is not to kill or destroy the virus but to make it impotent and inhibit its ability to reproduce.
Oseltamivir phosphate, zanamivir, peramivir and baloxavir marboxil are the antiviral drugs developed for treating “Flu”.
Amantadine is recommended to treating influenza A virus
For coronavirus, whole world is spending its nights diligently working on to develop an antivirus. Clinical trials are happening all over the place, many antiviral drugs like Galidesivir (BCX4430) and a combination of Favipiravir and Umifenovir has shown promising results but we are yet to see a coronavirus vaccine breakthrough.
Testing and treatment of COVID 19
To date, there are no specific vaccines or medicines for COVID-19. Treatments are under investigation and can be tested through clinical trials. World Health Organization.
So now knowing that this is how the risk sort of breaks down, so far how do we know who has it in this pandemic.
We see pretty wide variations in how different countries are offering testing or having the availability of testing.
- a big shortage in the number of tests.
- need to get permission from the health department to test patients.
- the lack of enough tests for everybody has made it very difficult so for everyone.
How to treat coronavirus?
There are no official treatments available. There has been nothing shown, through the evidence to say this is a treatment that we can use. It’s more supportive at this point.so right now we are using supportive care.
So far it doesn’t affect the treatment that much and everybody can’t get tested, though it’s frustrating someone is having these symptoms and want to get tested and you’re being told and turned away.
But the one thing that you have to understand is that the treatment so far has been largely supportive, meaning things like giving oxygen or help with breathing.
The doctor takes those clinical decisions by looking at how sick you are and how much you’re struggling to breathe and so forth.
Since we are yet to develop an antivirus, how to treat coronavirus is still a challenge. There are a few experimental drugs that have been used on Ebola and malaria that are being tested. The use for those medicines is very experimental, yet to find out more about the efficacy.
As hopefully as we learn more about and can use them in more patients, hopefully, the testing also ramps up so we can start giving them to more patients.
It helps us to know whom to isolate. The countries that have done well with this include Taiwan, South Korea, and Germany. Where there’s abundant free testing. so that as soon as you test positive, even if the symptoms are mild or have no symptoms people can isolate and stop the spread.
Currently we don’t know how many mildly sick people have the virus, so that’s why the shutdown rules would have to be more universal and widely practiced to make a real difference.
This is where social distancing comes into the picture and exactly how do we do this.
It’s a very critical window right now and whether or not we’re able to successfully distance ourselves, can make a big impact in delaying or you know containing flattening the highest peak of this pandemic.
Is there a coronavirus vaccine?
Researchers worldwide are working overtime to develop life-saving vaccines. This is a great sign of relief to the world. Over 35 companies such as BioNTech & Pfizer, Altimmune, CytoDyn, GlaxoSmithKline, etc. are actively involved in the process of clinical trials for the vaccine of coronavirus.
Since a lot of testing and data are required, many scientists and vaccine experts believe, it may take months to develop the vaccine. The pandemic will be probably peaked and declined before a vaccine is available. It will still save many lives, especially if the virus has possible seasonal outbreaks.
Given that COVID- 19 is a newly discovered virus, there is no specific treatment for it. However there are certain things that doctors have been doing to offer protective care, these include:
- isolation of the patients
- proper diet and fluid intake of the patients
- assisted breathing in forms of ventilators
- ECMO for patients who cannot breathe due to severe pneumonia
Many drugs are on the watch list as coronavirus vaccine for probable treatment of COVID- 19, these include:
- ChAdOx1 nCoV-19
- Many anti-viral that were previously been used for AIDS and SARS.
As the antivirus definition goes, Antiviral drugs are generally custom designed to specific virus. All these drugs are still in the experimental stage.
More than one-quarter of the world’s total population is now confined to their homes. The government set up curbs on movements and social contact, in a bid to contain the virus in many parts of the world.
Borders, schools, airports, and hotels are closed, businesses are shut.
These unprecedented measures are adversely affecting the social fabric of our societies and disrupting many economies, resulting in mass job losses and raising the specter of widespread hunger.
These measures are taken indeed to save ourselves till we get a coronavirus vaccine. This may permanently change the way we live, the way we work, we worship, and play in the future.
(For informational purpose only. Consult your local medical authority for advice.)