How Does the Human Body Fight Corona Virus? This Explanation
Corona virus has infected more than 189 thousand people in various parts of the world with death toll exceeding 7,500 people. On the other hand, the cure rate of COVID-19 is also fairly high. A total of 81,271 patients were declared complete recovery.
Many people recover from COVID-19 even though no cure has been found yet, providing evidence that the human immune system can fight the Corona virus. But the question is, how does the human body fight the Corona virus?
As quoted from Fox News, Corona virus generally only causes mild and moderate symptoms such as fever and cough, in most people. But more severe symptoms can be experienced by those who are elderly and have experienced health problems.
People with mild symptoms can recover in two weeks, while those with severe symptoms need six weeks or more to fully recover. Before knowing how the human body fights Corona virus, it needs to be understood first, how the virus causes people to get sick.
How do viruses infect the human body?
When viruses enter the human body, they race against time to ‘hijack’ cells, reproduce and eventually spread them. The survival of a virus is very time-dependent. Because, once the body’s immune system detects an ‘intruder’, then there is a ‘war’ against viruses, including this new type of Corona virus or the scientific term Sars-Cov-2.
Before the war at the cellular level, the virus infiltrated the body through the mucus membranes found in the nose and throat. Once successfully entered, the virus will hunt for cells that can be hijacked. At the same time, these viruses also try to disguise themselves to fool the immune system’s alarm system.
“A few hours after the pathogen (the biological agent causing disease in the host) enters the body, it happens like a dance between the innate immune response and the virus,” explained immunologist from MRIGlobal Gene Olinger, as quoted by the South China Morning Post.
In this condition, the virus that has entered the body tries various ways to evade detection ‘tools’ in the immune system. The virus as much as possible try to hold the body’s defense response as long as possible, to give enough time for them to intervene in cells and replicate themselves, until finally managed to make the body sick.
How does the human body fight the Corona virus?
The human body’s defense has its own way to quickly detect the presence of viruses and fight them. Once the immune system is stimulated and T-cells (T lymphocytes, a group of white blood cells that play an important role in cellular immunity) find cells that have become ‘factories’ of the virus, it will form a barrier and shoot molecules that penetrate the cell membrane and kill what all that is in it.
Based on researchers’ observations of the body’s immune response against a virus similar to Sars-CoV-2, which is another type of Corona virus that causes MERS and SARS disease, every part of the immune system is needed to cleanse the body of the virus. Sars-CoV-2 itself is a new type of Corona virus that has not been detected by the immune system, although its character is similar to the Corona virus that causes MERS and SARS.
Marjolein Kikkert, associate professor at Leiden University Medical Center, Netherlands, explained, because this type of virus is still unfamiliar, the immune system will increase the speed to fight it. The danger signals sent by the cell move quickly like a waterfall, triggering the body to produce proteins called ‘alarm bells’. Its function is to warn the cells in the vicinity of the presence of viruses and produce body defense molecules in large quantities. Finally it arrived at the ‘antiviral state’ condition.
When the danger alarm has ‘echoed’ throughout the body, the Corona virus will accelerate its spread and attack more cells. This is when T-cells hunt, capture and kill cells that are already infected. The lungs become a battleground and become swollen due to immune cells, molecules and the fluid they use to move.
“When a T-cell has found an infected cell it will make a hook. These cells will be linked and the T-cell sends its molecules to the cell and starts killing them,” explained Gene Olinger.
In people with a healthy body and do not have other health problems, this body’s defense mechanism can be effective. That is why some people infected with the Corona virus can heal on their own as long as they consume nutritious food, supplements, vitamins and enough rest.
The opposite condition can be experienced by people who previously have comorbidities. Because when the body’s immune moves aggressively it can actually attack cells that are actually still healthy and not infected. Severe symptoms can also be experienced by infants and the elderly, because their body’s defense system is weaker than young people.
Therefore it is very important to apply social distancing. In addition to protecting ourselves, we also help protect groups that are vulnerable to the Corona virus.