– As the coronavirus from Wuhan, China,continues to spread across the globe,many more are becominginfected and some even dying. As of making this video, 132people have died worldwide,with over 6,000 infected in China alone. But what actually happens to your bodyif you contract the coronavirus?Now, before we get into it,we wanna make clear that this videois in no way intended to spread fearor over-sensationalize theseverity of the coronavirus. We won’t be commenting onits global threat levelbecause that informationis constantly changingwhile experts monitor its spread. – But what we will be looking atis how the coronavirusactually infects the body,what it does inside of you,and then how it causes symptoms, spreads,how your body actually then fights it offor it causes death in some. Coronaviridae are actuallyan entire family of virusesthat cause disease in mammals and birds. SARS, for example, was also a coronavirus. Now, viruses are interestingin that they are sometimes consideredboth living and non-living things. They aren’t made of cells,but they do have the ability to replicate,just in a different waythan other organisms. Oh, and they’re actuallymuch, much smaller than cells. – Now, to contract the coronavirus,you first have to come in contact with it,either through an infectedperson’s respiratory secretions,so a cough or a sneeze, throughphysical contact with them,or by physically touching asurface that the virus is onand then touching somewhere like your noseor your mouth before washing your hands. Once the virus is able to enter your body,its work can begin. One thing that all viruses have in commonis that they carry somekind of genetic material,either DNA or RNA. In the case of coronavirus,it carries RNA,which has all the informationthe virus needs to replicate. The genetic information in a virusis typically surroundedby a protective capsid. – You may picture thiswhen you think of a virus,and it is a virus,but this is a virus that attacks bacteria,also known as a bacteriophage. In the case of the coronavirus,the RNA is encased in a helical capsid,and then that helical capsidis actually encased in an envelope. It looks more like this, kindof like the emoji of a virus. And these projectionscoming outta the surface,or the club-like structures,are very important for what happens next. Once the virus comes incontact with your cells,it binds to receptors on that cell. You can think of the outerlay of the virus like a key. And if the virus has found the right cellsin the right species,its keys are able to openthe lock on these cells. As a result, the virus is able to enter,where it now has access toall the cell’s machinery. – Now, normally, this machineryis reserved for your own DNA,which uses something called the ribosomesto make proteins that haveall sorts of functionsand travel all over your body. But the coronavirus endsup hijacking the system. It uses its own RNA togo to those ribosomesand starts making proteins that it wants. So, basically, your cellstarts producing virusesby making the genetic material,by making the capsid and envelope,and ultimately your cellbecomes a virus-making machine. And this is why viruses areoften considered non-livingbecause they don’t actually havethe machinery to do this work. They actually need yourbody’s cells to do it. So, the coronavirus hasits RNA instructionsread over and over and overand makes protein afterprotein after proteinand ultimately can makemillions of viruses. These viruses eventually fill the celland make their way backto the cell membrane,where they break out,often destroying the cell in the process. Once out, it’s onto the next cellto repeat this cycle all over again. – Now, as your cells beginto get damaged and die,your body will sense thisand start to trigger an immune response,and both of these things arewhat will create the symptomsthat you begin to feel. In the case of the coronavirus,these symptoms includeheadaches, runny nose,coughing, sore throat, and fever,which is part of the reasonwhy it’s been so hardto track and understand becausethose are common symptoms. We feel those all the time,especially during flu seasonor just from getting the common cold. Medical professionals wouldneed to do laboratory testson respiratory specimensas well as blood work and blood teststo understand if your symptomsare coming from the Wuhan coronavirus. – In a healthy individual,the immune system will eventually realizethat there’s a foreignagent inside your bodyand mount an attack. The immune system is incredibly complexwith a plethora of different mechanismsto take down your invaders. Your temperature increases,which helps your immunesystem function betterand actually makes it amore hostile environmentfor the virus. You might create more snot and phlegm,which make it harder for thevirus to attach to your cellsand also help to get rid ofdead viruses and immune cells. You may feel weak and tiredas your body starts to prioritizefighting off this virusinstead of doing your regularday-to-day activities. And your bones may actuallyfeel sore and ache,and that’s because they’re actually makingmore white blood cells. For its mainline defense, whenthe coronavirus is detected,the body triggers signals tostart producing antibodies. These antibodies arecreated by your own DNA. There are essentially sectionsof code in each cell’s DNAthat contain the instructionsof how to build different defense systems. Enzymes in the nucleus findthe right section of DNA,make a copy called messenger RNA,which gets sent to theribosome in your cells,which will read these instructionsand start making the relevant proteins. With up to 10 millionribosomes in each cell,they become an antibody-making factory,which are sent outside ofthe cell to fight the virus. – The trickiest part for your bodyis that the immune responsedoesn’t catch the virus right away,so, essentially, the virusstarts with an upper hand. This is why it can take so longfor your body to fight off a virus. But for coronavirus, thosewith healthy immune systemsshould be able to fight offand rid the body ofthe virus within weeks. The problem is primarily for thosewho have compromised immune systems,which is often people who are elderlyor people who are very young. This particular coronavirus hasmostly affected the elderly,and that’s because as we age,our immune systems become less effectiveand they actually slow down. As the virus continues to proliferateand cells continue to die,in a desperate attempt to save your body,your immune system can go into overdrive. In severe cases, whiteblood cells are responsiblefor activating a variety of chemicals,which can cause the leakingof fluid into your lungs. And this combination of cellulardestruction from the virusand fluid-filled lungs interruptsthe transportation ofoxygen into the bloodstream,which can lead to suffocationand organ failure. But the virus isn’talways the cause of death. Often, with a weakened anddistracted immune systems,other organisms like bacteriaare able to take advantage of the body,causing further complications. As organs begin to shut down,the whole body can as well. – To reiterate, it’s the immunocompromisedthat are most at risk. And even with that, it’s worth sayingthat the numbers are relatively low. If you think about it,40,000 people died of the fluin the US alone last yearand over a million peopledied of heart disease. On top of that, the death rate right nowis being estimated between 2% and 3%,which is continually evolving. But a disease like SARSwas a death rate of 10%and Ebola in some regionshas been up to 50%. All this to say don’t allowthe news to make you panic. – We live in Toronto,where the SARS virus gotworld-scale attention. That’s because the only peoplewho died outside of Asiafrom that virus were in Canada,and most of them were in Toronto. With only 44 peopledying in total in Canada,it had a huge impact on our city. We lost a lot of tourism,we lost millions of dollars. But most importantly,we saw a lot of stigmaand racism towards Chinese people. It’s important that we do notrepeat those racist notionsthat happened here in Torontoand we all need to be aware of thiswhen we talk about thecurrent coronavirus. On our social media channels,we have seen lots ofpeople saying things like,”This always happens in China,”and relating it a lotto the types of foodsthat Chinese people eat. But it’s important to rememberthat Western food practices arewhat created mad cow diseaseand also Western meat consumptionhas created a big issuewith antibiotic resistance. We need to listen to and trustpublic health professionalsand we need to not overreactand we need to not use thisas an excuse to be racist. If you like these videos,make sure that you have subscribed. But, Mitch, we have some news. – Yes, we have also starteda little mailing email listwith the link belowbecause sometimes you subscribe,people say they don’t alwayssee our videos pop up. So, we wanna make sureyou’re getting them, so— The YouTube algorithm isconfusing, to say the least. – We are here to subvertthe YouTube algorithm. So, if you wanna help our channeland make sure you just getnotified when a video comes out,it’ll just shoot you overan email and let you know. – We’ll be emailing you. – Sign up below. Otherwise, we’ll see you next timefor another science video. – Peace. – See ya.