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SARS-CoV-2 virus: important questions that are not yet answered

© REUTERS, China Daily via REUTERS

Unanswered questions about the new coronavirus do not let you know what will happen in the near future. Can I get infected twice? How long will a pandemic last? Will the number of victims increase or vice versa decrease? 

To predict the spread and further evolution of SARS-CoV-2 (the official name for the new coronavirus CoVID-19), fundamental data are needed, but so far they have not been obtained. In this case, one of the most important issues is the possibility of re-infection. To date, in addition to the dubious cases described in the press, re-infection has been scientifically proven by only four medical professionals in Wuhan, China. Symptoms in all confirmed repeated cases were mild. We tell you what the next few months may be and whether it is worth worrying for those who have had a new coronavirus.

Is it possible to get the new coronavirus again?

According to the Spanish El Pais, the authors of the work from Wuhan University admit that the results obtained on re-infection can be false positive, since sometimes the tests fail. However, it must be clarified that scientists repeated the test several times. If similar cases occur in the future, then all efforts made to contain CoVID-19 may prove futile.

Of all the possible explanations, double infection is the least realistic. Animal test results indicate that re-infection is not possible. Chinese scientists have found that macaques, who become infected with the new coronavirus and recover, do not get sick again a few days later, even if they are exposed to the virus. Preliminary research results can be found on the BiorXiv preprint server. 

The question also remains open about how quickly after a virus enters the body, a person becomes infectious – after a day or longer. Today we know that the incubation period can last from 5 to 14 days, but there are cases when symptoms appeared 24 days after infection. In this case, the immune system takes about a month to develop immune memory for the virus. 

This is how airports are disinfected

The question of the longevity of acquired immunity also remains unknown. The fact is that immunity to MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) – which jumped from a camel to a person and caused an epidemic that claimed the lives of more than 850 people – lasts less than a year. The same thing can happen with SARS-CoV-2, although at the moment it’s too early to talk about it. However, if the virus is capable of re-infection, it is likely to do so with much lower intensity, and the symptoms will be much easier.

Will the pandemic end in the fall?

The 1918 Spanish flu pandemic claimed the lives of more than 50 million people and raged for a year. However, most died during the second wave, which occurred in October. According to a study published by scientists from Imperial College London, after quarantine cancellation, the second wave of CoVID-19 will be almost inevitable. Researchers also warn that the stronger the quarantine measures, the more people can suffer during the second wave.

The question of whether everything will be as before

It must be understood that the meaning of isolation measures introduced in Italy, Spain and other European countries is not so much to prevent the spread of infection as to save hospitals – about 15% of infected need resuscitation and connection to mechanical ventilation and ECMO devices. Since the main problem of quarantine cancellation is the repeated spread of the virus, scientists propose that after the restrictive measures have been lifted, they establish safe periods of stay in the hospital, an alarm will be raised after the end of each stay and the population will be restricted again.

Does the new coronavirus mutate?

From an evolutionary point of view, the most successful viruses are the most infectious, not deadly, because their main purpose is reproduction. In most cases, the tendency is that viruses become less dangerous and allow the host to lead a more or less normal life. It is possible that such a fate awaits the new coronavirus. However, coronaviruses do not mutate much, since they encode a protein that corrects errors in DNA copying, which raises some concerns. Compared to other viruses, coronaviruses accumulate 10 times less errors in DNA, and therefore are much less variable.

One way or another, no one has been able to accurately predict the future. Therefore, today, as a society, we must take care of each other and follow all the recommendations of the World Health Organization. And yet, something is clear today – the pandemic will not pass quickly, and the usual order of things may change dramatically.

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Planet Earth

M6.5 earthquake in Idaho. Is Yellowstone or Rainier next?

On the night of March 31 to April 1 (2020-03-31 23:52:31 (UTC)) in the USA, in Idaho,a M6.5 earthquake occurred. The epicenter of the seismic event lies at a depth of 10 km:

This seismic event has become the second strongest in the history of the state. The first place is occupied by an earthquake in the same area, on October 28, 1983, the magnitude of which was 6.9 points.

At the moment, information about the victims and damages is only being collected, but all this is not the main thing. The main thing here is different:

The Roller City of Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada is is more than 700 km from the epicenter in the north direction, more precisely – a little to the north-west, or more precisely – along the line of the so-called Challis Arc:

The Challis Arc is a volcanic field with a length of about 1,500 kilometers, the origin of which is not very clear. It is assumed that the field appeared as a result of subduction of the ancient Kula / Farallon plate under North America:

The ancient plate partly sank, displacing magma, which, in turn, climbed out of volcanoes. The partly remains of Kula / Farallon were absorbed into the base of North America. All together, this led to the appearance of corrugated belts along the west coast. One of these belts is called the Challis Arc:

Thus, the epicenter was somewhere in a zone of very deep subduction and the earthquake mechanism there looks something like this:

That is why the earthquake was felt in Canada, that is, along the Challis Arc, but it did not spread a thousand kilometers to the West, East and South.

The mechanism of the earthquake is known, the earthquake is not very unusual, and the topic could be closed. However, the problem is that Utah and Idaho appear in a series of prophecies that promise a series of cataclysms to the United States. if we talk about earthquakes, we explained the mechanism above: the cause of the earthquake in Idaho and the previous earthquake in Utah are the ancient pieces of the lithosphere floating under the continent.

For some reason, fragments of these plates intensified: maybe they started to sink again, maybe they decided to float – we don’t know this. But we know that according to one theory, Yellowstone was the result of flooding / melting of fragments of the Farallon plate. The same goes for the Cascade Mountains. Therefore, if the Farallon plate suddenly became active – now we need to wait for major news from the Rainier volcano or even from the world-famous caldera!

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Planet Earth

The sun affects the emergence of large-scale epidemics on Earth

A Serbian scientist saw a correlation between weak ultraviolet radiation and the emergence of large-scale epidemics of infectious diseases. Images from American satellites confirm that the ultraviolet radiation of the sun or the disinfection of the atmosphere at the time when COVID-19 appeared was even weaker than during the period of H1N1 propagation.

Let’s recall the 2009 H1N1 flu pandemic. It spread, despite all the efforts of the World Health Organization. Of course, nothing could be done with this epidemic, since it erupted during the period of the weakest solar radiation. After all, just as after surgery, the surgical room is sterilized with ultraviolet lamps, the atmosphere of the earth naturally sterilizes ultraviolet solar radiation.

Low radiation and epidemics

The founder of heliocentric electromagnetic meteorology Milan Stevanchevich saw a correlation between weak ultraviolet radiation and the emergence of large-scale epidemics of infectious diseases. Although NASA has not yet linked these phenomena, images from American satellites confirm that the ultraviolet radiation of the sun at the time the coronavirus appeared was even weaker than during the period of H1N1 propagation. In 2009, the level of ultraviolet radiation of the sun was eight units, and in 2019 – only five units. The lack of ultraviolet radiation, that is, disinfection of the atmosphere, in both cases led to the unhindered spread of the virus in the northern hemisphere.

Seasonal character

The Belgrade School of Meteorology believes that the level of ultraviolet radiation is also seasonal. In winter, the level is much lower than in summer. During maximum solar activity, ultraviolet radiation reaches 35 units. But in the period between two cycles of solar activity, ultraviolet radiation reaches the lowest levels or disappears.

Milan Stevanchevich explains:

​​“On March 11, the outbreak of AP 2758 on the Sun caused an increase in ultraviolet radiation. In the geoeffective position, one x-ray emission was recorded, which became the first after more than 300 days of inactivity of the Sun.”

When a flash on the Sun occurs on a side not visible from Earth, the level of ultraviolet radiation decreases. Its next growth is expected in early April 2020, and entry into a geoeffective position is expected on April 7, when the radiation will be sent directly to the Earth.

The level of ultraviolet radiation at the surface of the earth depends on the radiated power and density of the clouds over a particular place. Although ultraviolet radiation has a diffuse nature, the influence of clouds is great, since they reduce the level of ultraviolet radiation above the surface of the earth. Water in the atmosphere is an element that creates the effect of a greenhouse, so exposure to ultraviolet radiation also depends on cloud cover. Clouds weaken all types of energy emanating from the sun.

An increase in temperature does not play any role in the disinfection of the atmosphere, so flu can appear even when the daytime temperature is high.

Ultraviolet radiation is a natural phenomenon that makes possible the existence of man on planet Earth. But strong ultraviolet radiation is very dangerous for human health. Fortunately, nature has provided for everything. When activity on the Sun grows, cloudiness intensifies, as clouds are formed by the combination of hydrogen and oxygen, which are emitted by the Sun, and therefore the level of ultraviolet radiation decreases.

It is expected that weak X-ray radiation will reach a maximum on April 7, when the AP 2758 volcano appears on the visible side of the Sun, which disinfects the atmosphere more. No matter how weak the effect of x-rays, it plays a large role in the total radiation of the sun.

Studies show that pandemics can occur only between periods of two activity cycles, when the activity of the Sun is minimal, that is, when the level of ultraviolet radiation in winter is the lowest. Epidemics occur only at the beginning and at the end of the solar cycle. Seasonal influenza with variable variability depends on the current activity of the Sun. The weakest viruses in the period of maximum activity of the Sun.

For the disinfection of the atmosphere, the angle of incidence of ultraviolet and x-ray radiation plays a large role, since the level of radiation per unit area during the day depends on it.

It must be said that the transition period between the 24th and 25th cycles of solar activity is exceptionally long. The activity of the Sun reached an extraordinary minimum. The level of activity of the Sun in 2019 – 2020 is the lowest since 1810. Temperature has no effect on COVID-19.

If NASA’s forecast comes true, then in ten years we should expect another mutation of the virus.

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Planet Earth

Michigan nurse shares details of what is happening in hospitals

One of Michigan’s nurses shot a terrifying video of her workday so people would be more careful about their health and especially with coronavirus. The woman added that she felt as if she was in a battlefield.  During her story, she was constantly in tears.

During her last shift, the duration of which was 13 hours, she was separately from her colleagues and was involved in the treatment of two seriously ill patients. She supported them with an assisted breathing apparatus. The nurse encourages people to be more careful and take this problem as seriously as possible.

The nurse plead for hospitals to make every effort possible to eliminate the effects of the coronavirus outbreak, which has only recently intensified. To date, Michigan is in fifth place in case numbers, in which more than two thousand are infected with coronavirus and at least 43 deaths were recorded.

Just a few days ago, two hospitals already announced that they were completely full and they did not have the opportunity to accept new patients. The state expects that over the next three weeks the number of patients may increase to 16 thousand. The government, in turn, said that at the moment there are only 25 thousand beds, 80% of which are already occupied.

The number of cremated people in Wuhan significantly exceeded the death toll from coronavirus

On March 23, Chinese authorities allowed relatives of coronavirus victims in Wuhan to receive the urns with the ashes of their relatives. According to Liu Ping (pseudonym), a local resident who was in front of the Hankou funeral home, there were huge queues of people lined up. Liu Ping arrived in the morning to pick up her father’s ashes, and was only able to pick up the ashes at 14:00.

After leaving the bureau, Liu Ping saw a truck that was transporting bins. She found out from the driver that an order had been placed for 2500 boxes, the same quantity had been delivered the day before. A total of 5 thousand deaths from coronavirus is against the 2531 official cases. This information is from only one funeral home. There are eight in total in Wuhan.

According to Sun Jiatong, deputy director of the Wuhan City Civil Affairs Bureau, 21,703 corpses were cremated in a month and a half, eight times the official statistics.

At first, all the bodies were planned to be taken to the Hankou crematorium, but there were no available spaces there. As a result, other local institutions accepted and shared the dead between them. It is scary to imagine the real number of deaths in the whole of China.

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