The origin, course, and treatment: results after six months of Coronavirus - what we know so far about COVID-19?

half a year Ago, at the beginning of the second week of January, announced the Chinese authorities for the first time publicly that a new Virus is rampant in th

The origin, course, and treatment: results after six months of Coronavirus - what we know so far about COVID-19?

half a year Ago, at the beginning of the second week of January, announced the Chinese authorities for the first time publicly that a new Virus is rampant in the city of Wuhan grass.

Here's an inventory of what is known until now about the Virus and how far the medicine in the control of SARS-CoV-2

the origin of the Virus,

is made known in progress: As the authorities of the existence of the Virus, was the first infection of a human by a Vertebrate, apparently a few weeks ago.

Initially, the authorities had apparently tried, evidence to suppress. Until today, it is not clear exactly when and where the Virus is from animals to people jumped. Than likely a Transfer from the bat to an intermediate host, maybe a raccoon dog, and then to the people. The pandemic, which is still in full swing began.

properties of the Virus

Chinese virologists have discovered in record time, the genetic information of the pathogen. Already on 21. In January they published the genome structure, and three days later a detailed description of the Virus. Thus, physicians and micro-managed to biologists worldwide medicines and vaccines develop.

Typical of the Virus to its surface Spike proteins (ACE-2). These are for binding to the host cell is crucial. Therefore, the majority of drug and vaccine development focuses on how to bind this Protein to block or otherwise make it ineffective.


Now fixed, among other things, by the Heinsberg study - that the Virus comprises, in particular, in the throat and in the lungs. The biggest infection danger in addition to direct smear infections by aerosols. These spread by air-conditioning systems, such as in the meat industry, particularly well.

Very dangerous in enclosed spaces with many people. Therefore, Lockdown were operated measures, the closing down of Entertainment and the cancellation of trade fairs and major events are also very effective in the control of the disease.

chains to The largest Infection, the spreader could be on so-called Super Events back.

The use of a mouth-nose protection in almost all countries of the world, now. Many physicians, however, are out of the question, whether most people are able to do this in everyday life so that he can prevent a potential virus transmission.

would be more appropriate from all to wash hands, keep your distance and constantly thorough Airing.

Even if certain Pets, such as cats, ferrets and Golden hamsters can become infected when people play this in the case of chains of Infection, no detectable role.

symptoms and risk groups

Initially, the Thesis that the novel Virus is no more dangerous than a seasonal flu circulated yet. Meanwhile, to know the physicians, but better: The disease is similar to the danger of more of the devastating Spanish flu of 1918. Although SARS can be CoV-2 infection in many people are symptom free, others fall ill at COVID-19 very hard.

Whom the subject is not clear. More people with pre-existing conditions, the elderly, persons with blood group A and men are at risk.

the pathologist, the COVID-19 victims examined were able to confirm that high blood pressure, Diabetes, cancer, kidney failure, cirrhosis of the liver and cardiovascular diseases are among the most dangerous pre-existing conditions. Basically, a severe course can meet all of you.

disease progression

Mild forms of COVID-19 may act as a cold. Typical throat pain, breathing problems and a loss of smell and sense of taste.

In severe cases it can lead to a life-threatening Multi-Organ disease.

Often, these lead to a Sepsis – an often fatal Overreaction of the immune system that attacks its own tissues and organs.

the Severity of the disease process, it plays a big role in how strong the immune system reacts to the pathogen.


at the beginning of the Corona pandemic have been ventilated many patients with severe forms of the disease at an early stage artificial (intubated) and died anyway.

Meanwhile, doctors from the default ventilation are intense again moved away because the insight of the lungs doctors that artificial ventilation under positive Pressure to cause the lungs more harm than it can help. to breathe

as Long as the patients are able to receive oxygen without a breathing device connected to it. Only in the extreme emergency Intubation is now coming into question.

In many cases, if the kidneys are damaged by COVID-19 hard, is also a dialysis is necessary. Also, the intensive treatment takes into account the other damaged organs stronger.

The healing process can be accelerated in specialized clinics by the administration of antibodies from the blood healed COVID-19-patients. Then the immune system from the donor's blood takes up the fight against the Virus in the body of the patient who has received the donation.

Basically, COVID-19-patients need to undergo intensive medical treatment, long, individually tailored rehabilitation measures, which take into account their specific pre-existing conditions and possible organ damage.

so Far no convincing drugs

The only pharmaceutical drug that so far is that it can shorten the course of the disease, is Remdesivir. Therefore, it is competitive on the market hot.

A miracle cure but it is not. It is shortened in patients receiving oxygen, the healing process to a few days. But it does not improve your chances of Survival.

Doctors are trying to bring more on the market of drugs against the Coronavirus in position. These include the anti-inflammatory dexamethasone, the RNA polymerase inhibitor Avigan and the Malaria medium-hydroxyl chloroquine include. In the case of the first two drugs, the safety and efficacy has not been proven conclusively, and in the third there is even strong doubt.

As far as the vaccine development?

in the World, at least 160 vaccine projects are now running (as of: 29.6.2020). These are divided Mainly in three different vaccine types: live vaccines, killed vaccines and genbasierte RNA-vaccines.

In the case of the latter entering the medical profession, however, there is new ground because, to date, no such approved vaccines. Both are currently in Germany for the combined Phase 1 and Phase 2 testing approved vaccine candidate of Biontec and CureVac are such RNA-vaccines.

in addition, there are a already approved tuberculosis vaccine, which is not intended, however, directly against SARS-CoV-2, but the innate basic immunity of the people strengthens. These researchers at the Max to try to improve Planck-Institute for infection biology in Berlin is currently working on genetically.

Five vaccines were to Information of the WHO at the end of June 2020 in the world in the Phase 1 testing on humans, in the it comes to the safety of the vaccine. Seven are in the combined Phase 1/ Phase 2 Tests, where the immune response is tested and a vaccine is already in Phase 3, where the demonstration of efficacy against the pathogen in practice.

when is the vaccination?

optimists hope that a usable vaccine is still to come until the end of the year. Others speak of the next year. In fact, not but it is currently uncertain whether and when vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 comes on the market that is suitable for many people.

approved a vaccine, mass production is another challenge. That would be an advantage of the genbasierten RNA vaccines, which can be relatively quickly produced.

the Relevant pharmaceutical companies, such as the Serum Institute of India to prepare already now, larger production capacities, even if they are unaware of what active substance they produce in the end.

when it comes to herd immunity?

more and more people are infected worldwide. By the end of June, there were ten million people. The population of the world is, with its 7.8 billion but still far from that, the diseases lead to a relevant immunity.

in Addition, it is unclear whether convalescent patients remain permanently immune to the Virus. If someone is anti-body against the Virus, with a serological Test of the blood to determine. A swab with a cotton swab can bring a genetic Test to know for sure whether someone is ill or in acute and contagious.

author: Fabian Schmidt In FOCUS Online/Wochit In the

*The contribution of "Six months of Coronavirus - what we know so far about Covid-19?" is published by Deutsche Welle. Contact with the executives here.

Deutsche Welle
Updated Date: 05 July 2020, 04:27

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