COVID-19 reactions to environmental changes

Empty shells of the novel COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, may help clarify how well the virus stands up to humidity, heat, and other environmental changes.

The research by physicists at The University of Utah [Reference] is intended to assist public health administrators in realizing how the new coronavirus will react because of the seasons’ change.

A critical question about the novel coronavirus is that summer will do anything to slow the spread or not.

How is COVID-19 spread?

The spread of coronavirus is just like the influenza virus — as tiny droplets swayed within the air. Viruses lose their infectious property because the particles lose structural integrity,” said a University of Utah physicist. The infectivity of the virus depends on how the droplets act in different weather conditions.

Viruses are disabled to “do anything” on their own. They are just shells with genetic instructions. When a virus attacks a cell, it uses that cell’s machinery to reproduce itself over and over again.

The research includes working with duplicate versions of the virus’s protecting outer shell. The researchers are building manufactured versions of these shells, which they have no viral genomes inside. It makes the shells harmless, and it would be safe to work with them.

They are making a reliable reproduction of the virus packaging that keeps everything together. As the scientists say [Reference], the main idea is to realize what makes this virus break down, what makes it tick, and what makes it perish.

How COVID-19 can be manipulated?

To manipulate the nano-sized dummy particles, the researchers use a tool called optical tweezers — mostly, focused beams of light. The light’s energy directed to move and examine individual molecules.

The researchers are hopeful of finding out how well the virus will spread in different conditions, from outdoors in the summer heat to indoors in air-conditioned offices. It could affect how long social distancing and lock-down policies will need to be in place.

It is essential to know that this is not a vaccine, and it won’t solve the crisis. Still, it can hopefully inform policy arrangements going forward.”

Main Reference

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