What you need to know about the coronavirus 19:
The coronavirus 19 outbreak continues to mount causing panic and rumors circulating the internet with a mix of correct and incorrect information. After studying the coronavirus pandemic, we are sharing our current knowledge and understanding from our perspective.
General Coronavirus Facts
- The COVID-19 disease comes from the SARS-CoV-2 virus “severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2” (named by WHO on 2-11-20), also called 2019-nCoV.
- Viruses are not living organisms, instead they have been said to be on the edge of life and only become active after entering, invading and taking over a host cell.
- The SARS-CoV-2 virus is an enveloped positive-sense, single strand RNA virus, which means that it can synthesize proteins on its own without using the cells of our body for an intermediate.
- The most important aspect is that it is enveloped in a bi-lipid layer (2 layers of fat), which is actually the viruses weakest link.
- The SARS-CoV-2 virus is one of the largest viruses at 29,891 nucleotides and is a high fidelity virus. This means that since it is so large, it uses proofreading when it replicates it tries to correct mutations. Because of the proofreading, the coronavirus has less mutations than the typical virus which is good for creating vaccines.
- Since viruses are not living, they are not actually killed… instead they are inactivated. The virus consists of 3 parts: (1) a fatty outer bilayer, (2) a protein case that encapsulates the (3) Nucleic acid (RNA or DNA) (in the SARS-CoV-2 it is single strand of RNA). They are held together like a velcro strip.
- Since the virus has a fatty bilayer when this fatty layer is destroyed, the virus becomes inactive. There are a number of easy things that you can do to breakdown this fatty layer.
Tips for Coronavirus Prevention:
- Wash your hands thoroughly before touching anywhere on your face or before touching food.
- Don’t let your hands get too dry from the excess hand washing, this will create microcracks which can harbor viruses.
- Your nails can harbor viruses so trim your nails to the end of your finger. Viruses can also hide in cracked or chipped nail polish. Also, eliminate artificial nails and don’t wear rings because the virus could hide there as well.
- Soap is the best, because it does 2 things: (1) it dissolves the fatty layer and (2) it allows the virus to dislodge from the skin.
- When washing your hands use warm water and plenty of soap. While rubbing your hands with friction for 30 seconds.
- The SARS-CoV-2 virus is sensitive to heat and Ultraviolet light especially UV-C. Since it is sensitive to light, be sure to wash clothes on HOT.
- The coronavirus is effectively inactivated by lipid solvents including ether (75%), ethanol, chlorine-containing disinfectants, peroxyacetic acid and chloroform except for chlorhexidine
- Alcohol or any mixture with alcohol over 65% will dissolve the external fatty layer of the virus.
- Household Bleach inactivates the virus for it is 5% sodium hypochlorite, the free chlorine in bleach denatures the protein capsule and damages the RNA. Bleach can be diluted up to 5 tablespoons (one-third cup) of bleach per gallon of water or 4 teaspoons of bleach per quart of water.
- Antibiotics and bactericidals do not work against viruses, they are for bacteria.
- The virus is very inert when on porous substances and can become inactive quickly, so don’t shake your clothing, sheets or cloths.
- The virus needs to be carried on a droplet of mucous or saliva and enters the body through the eyes, nose or mouth.
- The virus CANNOT go through healthy skin.
- The SARS-CoV-2 seems to last on surfaces longer than the typical flu virus.
- Studies show that the SARS-CoV-2 virus can last up to:
- 3 hours in the air
- 4 hours on copper and wood
- 24 hours on cardboard
- 72 hours on plastics and stainless steel
- When cleaning, be careful not to disperse the virus into the air with a feather duster since the molecules can float in the air for up to 3 hours, and can lodge in your nose.
- The virus seems to be transmitted by droplet and not as an aerosolized mist which is a good thing because it should not “hang” in the air as long and a regular surgical face mask should be able to block it.
- Since it is a droplet it is surrounded by a microscopic sphere of moisture. The high humidity in the summer will cause the droplet to be heavier and gravity will not permit it to float in the air as long and the more moisture on the droplet will make the virus less infective because the increased humidity (water) in the summer time will cause it to lose structural integrity.
- Ultraviolet light from the sun is a natural virucide by modifying the virus’ genetic material (RNA in the case of coronavirus). UV-C Light is a great disinfectant. I have used a UV-C light box to disinfect and reuse surgical masks when surgical masks were not available and had to be reused.
- There is NO evidence that vinegar can inactivate coronavirus because it does not break down the protective layer of fat.
- There are very very few spirits or vodka that have a high enough percentage of alcohol to inactivate the virus. Only alcoholic beverages over 130 proof can be used as a disinfectant of the virus.
- Listerine does NOT have a high enough percentage of alcohol to be a disinfectant and inactivate the virus. Listerine has 27% alcohol.
- Use social distancing of at least 6 feet, the virus does not hang in the air and does not appear to be capable of transmission at that distance. Also avoid confined areas which can concentrate the virus making you more exposed. Open and naturally ventilated areas prevent the concentration of the virus.
- UV-C light wands and light boxes are great for disinfecting items frequently used and touched such as remote controls, switches, knobs, computers, phones, items throughout the bathroom etc.
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