• Sairam Paluri

Coronavirus isn't novel - our past experiences with the virus!

The world has experienced two similar outbreaks in the past, one epidemic in China and the other in Saudi Arabia.

SARS outbreak in China was caused by SARS COV(Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus).

MERS outbreak in Saudi Arabia was caused by MERS COV(Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus).

COVID19 pandemic first case was recorded in China is caused by SARS COV2.

All these belong to the family of CORONAVIRUS, with similar features.

Let us look at the statistics of these outbreaks

We can note that CFR(Case Fatality Rate) in COVID19 is very less when compared to SARS and MERS. Even though CFR is low in COVID19, due to high transmission rates, we are observing high death rates.

Reasons for the difference in the transmission rates-

A virus is not a living thing(a particle), it needs a host to replicate. The receptors over the human body cells(hosts), act as an entry point.

MERS COV binds to DPP-4 receptors, which are present in the lower respiratory tract.

SARS COV and SARS COV2 binds to ACE-2 receptors, present in

Respiratory tract -> sneeze, cough, speech can spread the virus

Heart and Kidneys -> heart problems and chronic kidney disease act as comorbidities and

Gastrointestinal System -> may lead to spread of the virus through faecal matter(transmission not confirmed yet)

In the case of SARS COV2, the release of the virus is more during the initial days of infection(patient may not get admitted into the hospital at that time) while in SARS COV the release is more after 10 days where it may be controlled as the patient gets admitted into the hospital.

Finally, the highly anticipated question is...

So does this help in an early release of a vaccine, as SARS COV and SARS COV2 are closely related?