What is known so far of the coronavirus?

With multiple locations in Spanish territory already in phase 1 of the de-escalation, there are many doubts that assail us. In recent days, one of the most repeated questions has been: What is known so far of the coronavirus?, a disease a few months ago was unknown and has caused a global pandemic. To solve this question accurately, we have the statements of Africa González Fernández, president of the Spanish Society of Immunology (SEI), who was director of the Center for Biomedical Research for 10 years and who is currently a professor at the University of Vigo and promoter of the company NanoImmunotech, specialized in nanoparticles and their use in biosensors .

What is known so far of the coronavirus? We summarize it in 5 brief points

1) We know that it is a beta coronavirus, similar to those produced by SARS and MERS, and probably derived from a bat virus.

2) We know how it spreads, its entry (respiratory) route, the receptor it uses, the contagion rate and its repercussion on the organism.

3) It is more contagious and generates higher mortality than the common influenza virus, but with less lethality than the previous SARS and MERS coronaviruses.

4) In some cases it does not generate disease (it is asymptomatic or causes very slight problems), but in a percentage of patients it causes very serious respiratory problems (known as respiratory distress) and death, especially in elderly patients.

5) The way in which our immune system recognizes the virus has a great impact, in relation to the clinical and evolution of the disease. The immunosenescence of the elderly, along with an exaggerated response, especially with inflammatory substances such as interleukin 6 (IL-6), is believed to lead to a very serious respiratory problem. In this regard, the immunotherapy that we propose, and which is already being successfully tested in clinical trials, tries to block the effect of this inflammatory substance and also that of others.

Although we have cleared these unknowns, there are still many questions that remain to be resolved. Download our guide for free 'The day after' in which we answer in a clear and simple way, by the hand of experts in different fields, the most frequent doubts that will come to light during the lack of confidence.