New study sheds light on coronavirus infection mechanism


AGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF)- The virus outbreak started months ago and within that short period of time, those working against the virus like doctors, scientist and authors– have come up with information that one local doctor says would traditionally take much longer

To infect a human host, a virus must be able to gain entry into individual human cells. It uses these cells’ machinery to produce copies of itself, which then spill out and spread to new cells.

NewsChannel 6’s Ashley Flete spoke to Infectious Diseases at the Medical College of Georgia, Dr. Jose Vazquez, about the virus that is Covid 19.

“It’s got those spikes, the receptors on the outside– which gives it that corona look. Those receptors are actually necessary for the virus to land and attach to the human cells.”

That then leading into the important role of an Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 or ACE2.

“All of these human cells have what I call receptors, which is kinda like a reception area for the virus. Specifically one called ACE2.”

ACE2 is something people who suffer from high blood pressure might use.

Dr.Vazquez explains why this is crucial information for scientist and doctors who are trying to compete with Covid-19.

“These receptors appear to be the receptacle where the virus attaches to.”

Connecting the dots one symptom at a time.

“Because we have these ace receptors all over the body. Not only in the respiratory track but we have them in the gastrointestinal track… probably why about 50% of patients will come in with nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.”

Dr. Vazquez says it can be hard to keep up with something that hijacks human respiratory cells to produce more viruses.

“We know where all of these receptor are and we see that the virus can attack throughout the entire body.”

Making those working against the virus– change how they attack it.

“How can we actually block that receptor making it so the virus can’t attach itself.”

Taking the science and technology once step further.

“So that way we can prevent the diseases, instead of having to treat it once it has set up shop and it actually has come together.”

Developing either drugs or a vaccine can be a challenging task. Dr. Vazquez says treatments and vaccines not only have to prove effective against the virus, but must also be safe for people.

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