Coronaviruses existed much before among us being first detected in the 1930s when a frenzied respiratory infection was presented to be originated by the infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) in domestic chickens. Fred Beaudette and Charles Hudson were the forefathers to contain and cultivate the contagious bronchitis virus furthermore two more species of animal host viruses were detected in the 1940s namely the mouse hepatitis virus (MHV) and transmissible gastroenteritis virus (TGEV) were contained. During that course of the period, it wasn’t realized they all were linked together to find that it will come in contact with humans.
As we all know these coronaviruses primarily arrived from bats and bats have over 500 different coronaviruses among which only 7 of them have the made jump to humans the first in 2002 appeared in China SARS (Severe acute respiratory syndrome) a transmissible and sometimes fatal respiratory disease, MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus) the common cold virus where we believe all these are originating from are the wet markets in China where the species are captive and come in contact easily.
The major ideology between the consumers of these markets are you basically obtain some kind of invigoration from the species, but the near it is to alive the more you acquire, and so they keep these species alive; kept on top of one another in these wet markets a complete way to transport viruses back and forth between animals. Despite this, these trades are blocked in China and even the Chinese government has made a proposition they are going to outlaw these wet markets.
However, these practices are rooted in Chinese traditions and culture so they will be very convoluted. But if they don’t stop these wet markets, we’ll see more coronaviruses. Take it for the SARS traveled through bats to civets and the civet cats were kept in the diner in Hong Kong until they were ordered and got to humans.
For MERS, traveled from the bats to the camels through the camels it got transmitted to the humans. In these current circumstances, the suspect is the Pangolin, the armored anteater. They are an endangered species but were available and put in these wet markets and there is a coronavirus from this Pangolin that’s a 99% match with the current virus.
The saddest thing in this situation is despite being a threatened species and is unauthorized to vend them in China, it is the most trafficked endangered species in the world. The meat is thought of as the delicacy of the rich Chinese and then the scales are used in traditional Chinese medicine.
Currently, Wuhan has banned the eating of wild animals for the next five years. The law makes it forbidden to consume any wild, endangered, and wild aquatic species.
An update on the Cure
There hasn’t been any vaccine available to us right now to fight the coronavirus, therefore we have been trying the previously invented medicines used in different ways. It has also been in the news that the drugs for HIV ritonavir and lopinavir being used. Hydroxychloroquine the malaria drug was also in the pipeline many of the countries has been moving forward with a various experimental trial using several combinations of these drugs, under the surveillance of highly expert doctors.
The most successful among all these medicines is Remdesivir its use has been very promising. It’s an antiviral drug manufactured by Gilead an American biopharmaceutical company in 2014 to cure Ebola, this drug also used for MERS and SARS. It has been said that Remdesivir stops coronavirus from growing in the human cells. The coronavirus has been said to release an enzyme named ” RDRP” which helps the virus to grow within the human body the Remdesivir has been successful in stopping this process in the majority of patients. There has been some developments by the company Moderna another American bio-tech company, but for the time being we are hopeful that the company provides successful results on coming up with its COVID-19 antibodies vaccine.
Therefore, there are still studies and surveillance in the process with this drug. There haven’t been any significant results to confirm Remdesivir as a medicine for the virus and is only used as a trial. The ongoing trials are being done in 6 places namely 2 trials in Hubei China, America, and France the company itself is performing the other 3 trials at their labs. The WHO declined to comment on the drug and how beneficial the drug is against the virus is yet to be established. With this we are hopeful that with everyone’s efforts we’ll be able to produce a vaccine to fight this virus. Till the time being the most important thing to do is to maintain social distance and practice self-restraint.