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THE ANTEDATE OF CORONAVIRUS DISEASE; WHAT EVOLUTION DOES

ASANTEWAA BEATRICE
ASANTEWAA BEATRICE

All Coronaviruses originated from a common ancestor about 200 million years ago which is why we are still experiencing coronavirus diseases at this time. So, until we find the roots of these viruses we will always live with them and our generations will also experience them.
Coronavirus is a type of virus that inflicts an infection in your sinuses, upper throat, and nose. Nonetheless, a virus is a minute infectious agent that reproduces only inside the living cells of organisms. Viruses infect all species of existence, from animals to plants to microorganisms. And coronavirus is not exempted.

The name "coronavirus" was originated from the Latin corona, meaning "crown" by David Tyrrell and June Almeida who first identified and studied human coronaviruses. The term Corona refers to the behavior of the trait of the infectious pattern of the virus which has a margin of huge, bulb covering headlands forging a symbol like the solar corona.

SOLAR CORONA

A corona is an atmosphere of plasma that encloses the sun and other stars. The sun's corona enlarges millions of kilometers into the outward space and is mostly seen during a whole solar eclipse. But in the case of coronavirus disease, the form and structural features are created by the viral peplomers.

Peplomer is a rod-like structure that extends from the lipid bilayer of the skin envelope of certain viruses and it's composed of glycoproteins. However, glycoprotein is a molecule that consists of a carbohydrate and a protein and it play an essential role in the body of human and virus entry into the host cell. Also, peplomers play a significant in the infection process where they are accountable for the attachment of the virion to receptor sites on the host cell surface.

A typical enveloped virus indicating the peplomer.


A LITTLE HISTORY OF CORONAVIRUS.

The initial announcements of coronavirus infection happen to affect animals in the late 1920s when an acute respiratory disease of household chickens arose in Northern America. The disease was called Avian infectious bronchitis. The causative agent was spotted as a virus that was affecting the respiratory tract, gut, reproduction system, and kidney of chickens. The disease and the virus were recognized as unique from different viral diseases so it was named as Avian infectious bronchitis virus but later renamed it Avian coronavirus.

The virus was cultivated by some group of people in several cells by the use of chick embryos and chick kidney and only a small amount of the virus were produced. As the year's proceeds, two extra animal coronaviruses were found out that results in brain disease and mouse hepatitis virus that causes hepatitis in mice.

Surprisingly,  it is estimated that around a 55million chickens are eaten all over the world daily but why is a human coronavirus not obtain from chickens? Before we delve into the human coronavirus let's check out timelines from 1965 to 2020.


In 1965, researchers at the common cold research department in the UK document cultivating a virus, B814, from a schoolboy suffering from a common cold. They define the pathogen as nearly unconnected to any other general virus of the human respiratory tract.
In 1966, Dorothy Hamre and John Procknow describe a virus, which they call 229E, separated from a student with a cold which is also different from other known respiratory viruses.
In 1967, scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and infectious diseases report using the same methods used to culture B814 to grow another modern human virus with similar morphology, and they name the virus OC43.
In 1968, a group of researchers, including those who discover the B814, 229E virus, and the OC43 and June Almeida who first reflected coronaviruses, write to nature to formulate that these and several other newly isolated human viruses belong to a new species coronavirus.
In 2003, An international group of researchers reports the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), which began in late 2002 in Southern China, is caused by a newly developed human coronavirus.
In 2005, some researchers from the University of Hong Kong discovers another coronavirus, HKU1 in samples from two patients with Pneumonia.
In 2012, researchers at Erasmus medical center observe a novel coronavirus named MERS-CoV, that was isolated from a man in Saudi Arabia with pneumonia and kidney failure.
In 2019, A team of researchers in China identify the cause of a disease outbreak in Wuhan as a novel coronavirus, shortly known as SARS-CoV2.
perhaps, the timeline indicates the presence of coronavirus a long time ago. So, its effect on humans means it is evolving.

THE UNKNOWN ORIGIN OF VIRUSES.

Let us clarify something on viruses before we proceed. Viruses existed 3.5 billion years before humans evolved on earth. However, viruses are not living things but we believe that all living things are evolved from non-living things base on the tree of life where organisms are grouped into archaea, bacteria, and eukaryotes.

Clearly stated, viruses are non-living things rather they are complicated assemblies of molecules that don't leave fossils. Tracing the origins of viruses is difficult and sophisticated because they infect any organism, from bacteria to equines; seaweed to people.


Viruses are assumed by some biologists to be a living element, because they transmit genetic material, reproduce, and evolve through natural selection. Some say viruses are evolved from pieces of DNA that can move between cells while others may have evolved from bacteria. Well understood, but if all living things are evolved from non-living things, is there not a possibility that viruses are man-made?  So, why is the origin unknown? This is a question left in the minds of people.

ORIGIN OF HUMAN CORONAVIRUS; HOW IT IS TRANSFERED FROM ANIMALS TO HUMAN.

Coronaviruses are a group of related RNA viruses belonging to the family of coronaviridae and usually existing in bats and are naturally harmful, highly communicable, and pathogenic viruses causing drastic mortality rates in humans. There are seven types of coronavirus that are known to cause respiratory diseases. They are HKUI, NL63, OC43, and HCV-229E, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV), Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus( MERS-CoV), and the recent SARS-CoV-2 other known as COVID-19 can be accountable for effecting severe pulmonary injury and respiratory difficulty in humans according to http://link.springer.com
Coronaviruses are divided into four categories called alpha, beta, gamma, and delta viruses of which the beta coronavirus genus are pathogenic to humans and can co-evolving which further enhances their pathogenicity and the long term adaptation to the human host. As stated above, evidence suggests that bats act as reservoirs for coronaviruses that infect humans as well as other wild and domestic mammals. Also, the origin of the COVID-19 virus is believed to be from animal sources but whether is transmitted from animals to human by touching domestic creatures, feeding on the animals is unknown yet. However, infected pets can infect other pets with the virus and even infect another healthy person by having close contact as shown in the diagram below.

In a nutshell, COVID-19 is presently counted among the diseases we are already living with and is now part of us. Henceforth, let's observe all protocols in other to minimize the spread and be safe. Most importantly, we should be careful relating to pets at home since they can also be an intermediate host for the transmission of the virus.

ASANTEWAA BEATRICE

I am an artless lady who seeks to improve the health care of children in deprived areas with little knowledge l have. I love to write, motivate, and inspire people with academic challenges.