Skip to main content

COVID-19 - A Natural Phenomenon

Covid-19 - A  Natural Phenomenon
Viruses are not living things ; They are complicated assemblies of molecules, including proteins, nucleic acids (DNA & RNA), lipids and carbohydrates ; But on their own they can do nothing unless or until they enter in living cells ; Where they can replicate themselves & mutate in the host cells ;  Viruses are continuously changing as a result of genetic selection ; They undergo subtle genetic changes through mutation and major genetic changes through recombination . Mutation occurs when an error is incorporated in the viral  genome ; Recombination occurs when  co-infecting viruses exchange their genetic information creating a new type i.e. novel virus ;
In prehistoric times human beings were hunter-gatherer ;  Apart from hunting their prey animals, mainly big herbivorous animals, their interaction with the animal world was minimal ; But along with growth of civilization they started domestication of animals, forming dairies, piggeries, poultry farms etc.  In modern times, along with the growth of population explosion, human interaction with animals like pigs, birds(hen etc.) , has reached to an unprecedented degree of concentration in some pockets of the world, depending on the local food  habits, trade etc. Such pockets have become the dens of tremendous viral accumulation/concentration giving rise to a much higher degree of evolutionary pressure upon virus  mutation ;
Again, let us come back to understand the cause of virus mutation in short & very simple words ; We have already seen that viruses are micro infectious organisms which reproduce inside the living cells of the host ; When infected or attacked, the host cell is forced to rapidly produce thousands of original copies of the of the virus and if error occurs during the process, it may be called a biological accident at micro-organic level,  which give  rise to a  new type of virus which again starts its own replication ;  
Viruses, especially those made of RNA can mutate rapidly  to give rise to new types ; Host cells may have little protection against such new forms ; As for example Influenza virus changes often, so a new vaccine is required to combat it each year ; However, under evolutionary pressure,  when there occurs a  major change by mutation, it causes pandemics, as for example Swine Flu which spread  to most countries in 2009 ;  In many cases, viruses infiltrate and mutate in animal host cells, giving rise to the Zoonotic disease ; Such as Coronavirus in Bats and Influenza in pigs & birds, before they are transferred to humans ;
Thus we see, the  present  Novel  Corona Virus  might well be and most likely is a natural phenomenon like Spanish Flu Pandemic in 1918,  Ebola in West Africa in 1976  etc.  These viruses are extremely detrimental & contagious and along  with the growth of  civilization  the possibilities of their  recurrence in new forms again & again could not be  & cannot be avoided altogether ;
However,  this dangerous virus could not  be prevented from rapidly spreading throughout  the 
world  and it is the  only failure on part of the  mankind ;  


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

COVID 19 - The Present Pandemic

COVID-19 : COVID-19 or Novel Corona Virus is an acutely

        infectious disease caused by a newly discovered Pathogen belonging

       to the group of related viruses that cause diseases in Mammals &

       Birds ; Other Corona Viruses are SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory

      Syndrome, outbreak in 2003), MERS( Middle East Respiratory Syndrome,

       outbreak in 2002) ; The medical name of Novel Corona Virus is

      SARS-COV-2 ; Most people infected with Covid-19 will experience mild to

     moderate respiratory illness & recover without requiring special medical

     treatment ; Only older  people & people with underlying medical problems

     like Cardiovascular Disease, Diabetes, Respiratory Disease & Cancer are more

     likely to develop serious illness ; The unique feature of  Covid-19 is that it

     spreads rapidly from human to human through droplets of saliva or discharge

     from the nose when an infected person coughs or sneezes ; As of today, …

Spanish Flu - The Pandemic of the Last Century

Spanish Flu : It is said to be the World’s worst pandemic on record ; It was an unusuallydeadly Influenza Pandemic lasting fromJanuary, 1918 to December, 1920,infecting 500 millions of people (about 25 % of the World’s population at that time ) with a death toll of about 50 million; The concerned Pathogen wasthe Virusnamed H1N1 which was first reported in Spain ;There is a hypotheses that the Pandemic started somewhere in Northern China and quickly spreadto the Western Europe when, in the the atmosphere of thecontemporary World War I, Britain & Francerecruited a large number of Chinese labours for the needs of various war services ; The Flu alsoquickly spread to India when, on 29/05/1918,a ship carryingIndian troops reached Bombay & affected the local population over there within a very short span of time ; As per records on 06/10/2018,768 people died on a single day ; Apart fromBombay,the Pandemic spreadrapidly  through 
          all over India : The mortality rate in India was 20.6 per